Stan’s Smilers bowls tournament for Demelza to be held at Walpole Bay Bowls Club

Stan has been a Demelza fundraiser for 20 years

A Cliftonville grandad-of-three who celebrates his 90th birthday today (June 25) is set to hold his latest fundraiser for Demelza children’s hospice charity.

Stan Knott has organised an annual bowling tournament at Walpole Bay Bowls Club to take place on Sunday 30 June.

Sixteen teams of mixed bowlers will battle it out on the green for the fondly known annual “Stan’s Smilers Demelza Open”.

Former off-licence owner Stan has been fundraising for Demelza for around 20 years. Demelza provides care and support to children and young people with serious or life-limiting conditions, and their families, across Kent, South East London and East Sussex, from first diagnosis and for as long as they are needed.

Stan said: “Demelza is such an amazing charity and I know that everything we raise makes such a huge difference to the children they support. This will be my 15th annual bowls tournament, and it’s a great way to bring the bowlers together to raise money to support the services the charity offers.

“We should have about 70-80 bowlers and spectators attending and hope to raise in the region of £1,500. It’s my 90th birthday, so a wonderful way to celebrate.”

Stan moved with wife Sue to Cliftonville almost eight years ago after living in Canterbury for 20 years. Sadly Sue passed away four years ago.

Stan has been a member of Walpole bowls club for six years.

Stan’s son Simon said: “The Demelza fundraising started 20+ years ago when my grandparents left some money in the will to a children’s hospice. From what I understand, the hospice was in London but had closed down, so my parents looked more locally, found Demelza and loved the work they did.

“Dad began by organising bowling trips abroad, which then became annual tournaments at his local clubs. He’s arranged meals out for charity, always tries to encourage local people and businesses to support Demelza, and still sells plants outside his bungalow.”

Simon says his own fundraising activities for Demelza are also due to the impact his dad has made, sayingThey even helped start my Demelza fundraising journey too around 10 years ago when I climbed Ben Nevis for Demelza.

“Since then I’ve held quiz evenings, raffles, did a triathlon, Kilimanjaro in 2022 and the Machu Picchu Inca Trail this coming September.”

Stan has raised a whopping £50,000 to date for Demelza.

Loren Regan, Regional Fundraiser at Demelza, will be joining Stan for the tournament.

She said: “A huge thank you to Stan, the bowlers and everyone who is helping. I’m so astounded by Stan’s support and commitment over the years, raising over £50,000 for Demelza.

“As a charity, we’re almost entirely dependent on the generosity of our supporters to provide the funds that keep our services going.”

Find more about Demelza at: https://www.demelza.org.uk/

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