Race gets named in honour of hospice supporter

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A passionate St Nicholas Hospice Care supporter, who died suddenly last year, will be remembered at a race night fund-raiser.

The Hospice Special Events Committee’s annual spring race evening, at Newmarket Racecourse on May 16, has a race named in honour of Jane Rutherford, of Rede.

Jane, who suffered a sudden brain haemorrhage on October 31 and died in West Suffolk Hospital later that day, had a 30-year career in the NHS.

Following her retirement, she volunteered at the hospice in Bury St Edmunds, before being appointed to its Board of Trustees for nine years and filling the role of vice-chairman.

The fourth Hospice Spring Race Evening, at the Rowley Mile Racecourse, will feature six races sponsored by local businesses and individuals, including Rede Hall Estates, in which Jane was a partner.

Her step-son Stuart Smith, of Rede Hall Estates, said it made sense for the family to sponsor what has become the Jane Rutherford Memorial Race, because the last few times Jane attended the race night, she came away with ‘a smile on her face and said she’d had a wonderful night’.

He added: “Jane believed in the hospice and what it is trying to achieve, so anything we can do to keep that part of her alive can only be a good thing. As a family, we believe we are trying to do our little piece to keep her work going.”

The committee organising the event hopes it will sell out and raise a bumper sum.

Guests will enjoy an exclusive party in the Champions Gallery Restaurant, which has a panoramic window overlooking the finishing post. The restaurant will be reserved solely for hospice supporters.

Each table will have its own television monitor displaying betting information and for close-up viewing of the races, while guests will also enjoy a three-course meal plus coffee, and a champagne reception sponsored by Piper Heidsieck.

Richard Lindsey, who is heading the event, said: “The race evening is an important event in the hospice calendar as it helps us to raise much-needed funds. We rely on the generous support of our community to enable us to provide our services. It’s a great way to enjoy the excitement and fun of the races while also supporting your local hospice.”

To buy tickets, which cost £70 per person (tables of four), contact Richard on 07803 200035 or email rgl67@btinternet.com

The dress code is smart, with the champagne reception starting at 4pm and the last race at about 8.30pm.