A GRAND charity bash is planned in memory of brave Laura Tanner from Lambourn.
Laura died on July 3 after battling complications from cystic fibrosis.
The loss devastated her family – father Stuart, mother Melanie, siblings Stuart, Joshua, Tristan, Joe and Mollie-Ann and fiancé Liam Hansen.
And yet they spoke with fierce pride and joy of the way she filled her 23 years on earth, and of the difference she made to the lives of so many others.
Laura, a former pupil of Kennet School in Thatcham, was born with the incurable condition, which principally affects the lungs and digestive system.
She and fiance Liam were popular regulars at The Woodpecker in Wash Water and on Saturday, October 8, she will be remembered at a fundraiser there in her honour.
The evening will include music, karaoke, an auction and a raffle.
One of the organisers, Teresa Stratton, said: “I’m just amazed at the response we’ve had so far.
“People are just so generous.
“We’ve had lots of donations from pub regulars and from local businesses.
“We’ve got a super prize of Hennessy Gold Cup tickets for two and one day someone took a fancy to an ornament on the wall so landlady Margaret Whittam told them to put £20 in the collection and they could take it home.”
She added: “There have been collection tins for Laura on the bar for a few weeks now so we’ve already raised quite a bit.”
The money raised will go to research into treatment and a cure for cystic fibrosis.
The condition can come to dominate a sufferer’s life, but Miss Tanner refused to let it do so, said her family – and she “never, ever complained”, despite bouts of hospitalisation throughout her childhood and adolescence.
Mr Tanner said, as she and the family prepared the funeral: “Laura was well known and well loved.
“Every single morning she would get up and be thinking of what she could do for someone else that day.
“She was like a magnet – people were drawn to her.”
Mrs Tanner agreed: “She just wanted to look after everyone else and I can’t think of anyone who disliked her.”
Ms Stratton said those words had been reflected in the enthusiasm with which friends of Laura and Liam had responded to the planned charity night.
She said: “There will also be Laura’s friends from the cystic fibrosis group so it promises to be a big night.”
For more information, or to donate raffle or auction prizes, call Clive or Margaret Whittam at The Woodpecker on (01635) 43027.
The fun starts at 8.30pm.