Generous St Albans publicans final winners of Maltings Community Hero Award
PUBLISHED: 12:59 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:47 13 September 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2017
Generous St Albans publicans who raised £8,000 to buy a disabled man's electric wheelchair have won this year's final Maltings Community Hero Award.
Dave and Caroline Beale, of the Garibaldi Pub in Albert Street, spent four months raising money to pay for a new powered wheelchair for Danny King Gordon, 27.
He has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and needs a wheelchair at all times. His old one was too small and becoming worn, causing him to hunch over in a painful position without back support.
Additionally, the suspension was broken, and Danny suffered on every bump and kerb.
As Danny and his mum are regular patrons in the pub, Dave and Caroline were originally asked to donate one pub lunch voucher to support a raffle in aid of the cause - but went much further.
The Beales auctioned sports memorabilia, served up pie and mash, ran pub quizzes, hosted a music festival, and received a big donation from a customer.
Their son, Michael, was sponsored to run the London Marathon in aid of Danny’s wheelchair, raking in £3,000.
On collecting The Maltings award, Caroline said: “It’s nice, but Danny is the real hero.
“He has got his new chair and he is so happy because he was in such a lot of pain to sit in his old chair, it didn’t fit him properly.”
The new £13,000 wheelchair can recline horizontally, was fitted especially for Danny’s body, was made in Australia, and should last him for life.
Although most of the money was raised by Dave and Caroline, Danny contributed some himself and a government grant supplied the rest.
Danny had “such a
big smile” on his face because of the money raised by “generous customers” in the Garibaldi, Caroline said.
“He was there on the [charity auction] night and we were all in tears, it was lovely.”
They will now turn their attentions to raise money for Danny to go on holiday for the first time by himself.
If their campaign is successful, he could sunbathe on the beach in the new chair. Visit the pub to donate at the bar.
As the winner of this month’s entries, Caroline and Dave received £100 to spend in any of The Maltings shops.