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Bingo Caller's Ice Bucket Challenge
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Bingo Caller's Ice Bucket Challenge

Steve Hotson, a Gala Bingo caller at the Basingstoke Leisure Park club has proven he’s a brave man by taking part in an ice bucket challenge to raise money for two charities!

He has raised £610 for Dementia UK and the RAF Benevolent Fund by getting a frozen dousing whilst wearing a bright green mankini.

This was all in memory of Betty Tarry, who was a regular at the club.

Mrs Tarry, 76, had suffered from dementia and diabetes before dying of blood poisoning at Basingstoke hospital in August.

She had been married to her husband Alfred, 83, for almost 59 years. And after her death Alfred had started up a charity collection.

Steve was already planning on doing an ice bucket challenge to raise money for a good cause, and when he heard about Alfred’s fundraiser he felt he had found the perfect cause.

His challenge took place in a car park close to the club, where he was watched by around 50 people.

“I was so shocked – the water was stupidly cold”, said Steve.

“My colleagues had stored buckets of water in our industrial freezers which go down to -20C. They had to keep breaking the ice as the buckets kept freezing up.”

He added: “One man said ‘if you do it in a mankini I will put £40 in the pot’, so I couldn’t say no to that. He paid for the mankini so I had to do it.”

Alfred was “over the moon” with Steve’s efforts. The former security guard supervisor, who served seven years with The RAF Regiment, said: “I admire Steve. I couldn’t have done it – well done to him.”

Also commenting on the Gala Bingo staff, he said: “I think Betty would have been proud of the amount of money collected.”

A total of £500 will be going to Dementia UK and £150 to the RAF Benevolent Fund.


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