More than 30 pals will be boarding the Thanet Loop on Easter Saturday (March 31) for a bus route charity pub crawl.
The friends will don weird and wonderful outfits and will set off from Ramsgate after breakfast at the Royal Victoria Pavilion. They aim to visit 20 isle watering holes – all on the Loop route around the isle with Ramsgate the first and last destination.
The annual event is organised by friends Gary Johnson, Tom Harling and Trevor Boon and this year will be raising funds for the UK MND Association in memory of friend and former Thanet Loop beer run participant John Rawlins.
Westgate grandad John had been living with motor neurone disease, a debilitating muscle wasting condition, since diagnosis in October 2016.
The dad-of-two had been dealing with the effects of MND, which includes weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing.
During his illness money was raised through the John’s Journey appeal, set up by his friends Dave and Luke Tappy, with a beery bike ride and other events. The cash was to pay for adaptions at the home he shared with wife Christine.
Lifelong West Ham fan John also went with wife Chris to meet the team at their training ground in Rush Green in January in a visit arranged by his sister-in-law Yvonne.
Sadly John lost his battle with the disease last month. His funeral was held on March 16 followed by a celebration of John’s life at Margate Football Club with many wearing the Hammers colours in his honour.
Gary said: “We decided at last year’s pub crawl that MND would be this year’s charity for John. He was a close friend of Tom’s, who has been meeting with the local rep for the charity to pick up the collection tins and other stuff.
“John had been on many of our pub crawls.”
The group, who raised a whopping £900 last year for the Beach Within Reach charity, will collect from Loop passengers and even hop out to collect from motorist sitting in traffic en-route.
Gary added: “Hopefully we will raise lots of money for the charity.”
What is MND
MND is a group of related diseases, affecting the motor nerves or neurones in the brain and spinal cord, which pass messages to the muscles telling them what to do. More information can be found at UK MND Association