A SELFLESS Newbury couple celebrated 40 years of marriage while raising money for charity.
Ed and Chris Seaward decided not to mark their ruby wedding with a traditional party or meal.
Instead, they held an event for Macmillan Cancer Support, raising more than £4,000 for the charity.
Mrs Seaward, aged 66, started fundraising for the charity in 1978, after a friend died from cancer, leaving two teenage sons without a mother. She estimates that her fundraising team has raised more than £80,000 in 38 years.
“The support that the nurses gave to those lads, helping them – immature as they were – to deal with it, was something we found impressive. That’s when we first took an interest,” said Mrs Seaward.
The couple celebrated their silver wedding in similar style to their 40th, raising more than £3,000. They staged their ruby wedding fundraiser at St Joseph’s hall, Newbury, where 60 friends and family made donations.
Mrs Seaward said that the couple had been blessed that neither of their families had been directly impacted by cancer. The funds raised will go to a new cause close to them as 72-year-old Mr Seaward has Lewy body dementia, which affects memory, thinking and social abilities.
Mrs Seaward said she had been asked why she wasn’t raising money for a dementia charity, but she said her commitment to Macmillan hadn’t altered just because her circumstances had changed. The proceeds from Saturday’s event will be used to train Macmillan nurses to treat cancer patients or their carers, with dementia.
Mrs Seaward said that for 40 years of married life, the years had been full and active, mainly through Mr Seaward being head groundskeeper at Wimbledon, from 1990 until 2012, and with him being asked to speak at conferences around the world, the couple were well-travelled.
Former All England Club workers and members of the Institute of Groundsmanship attended the fundraiser, where prizes included a tennis ball signed by Serena Williams at this year’s tournament.
Mrs Seaward thanked everyone who supported the event, including Jenkins Turf Operation and Jingle Jellies face painting in Burghfield.
Although this would be the last big fundraiser she would be organising; she said she would continue in a smaller way, including donating some of her hair to an adult wig charity next year, as well as taking part in Macmillan’s Brave the Shave.
Mrs Seaward said it would important to keep the close friendships built up over the years.
“These contacts are what’s important,” she said. “Fundraising doesn’t all have to be long-faced and serious. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a lot of fun doing it.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving. com/fundraising /Chris-Seaward -40th-wedding-anniversary-fundraising