In the pink for St Albans Midnight Walk - with gallery

Midnight Walk - byline must be used

Midnight Walk - byline must be used - Credit: Archant

PINK was the order of the night on Saturday when nearly 400 hardy souls took part in the seventh Grove House Midnight Walk in St Albans.

The walkers including a number of bears, a Pink Panther and Minnie Mouse, were undeterred by the weather and many other participants dressed up in style for the occasion with flashing ears and pink hats.

St Albans City Football Club hosted the event at their ground in Clarence Park and walkers congregated on the pitch for a warm up before setting off at 10pm for a five or 10-mile walk around the streets of St Albans.

Minnie Mouse (Ketlin Liivak-Atkinson) was making her third appearance at the event and was joined by her friends Nina Smith, Caroline Channing-Gau and Rachel Stevenson.

Nina said: “The Midnight Walk is a really fun event and it’s a great way to raise funds and spread the word. Members of our group all know people who have been affected by cancer and been helped by the hospice.”

Pink Panther aka David Rodway was a last-minute entrant after being persuaded by his wife, Sue, to join her on the walk.

Sue has previously taken part in the Herts 10K in aid of Grove House and the organisers are hoping she can now persuade David to run that event as the Pink Panther as well.

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The couple became keen supporters of the hospice movement after losing a close friend in his fifties to cancer.

A group of 15 women from Slimming World were taking part in the event for the first time and between them were hoping to raise over £1,000.

They had planned on walking the five-mile route but some of them were having so much fun they decided on route to walk the full 10 miles. Afterwards team leader Samantha Lawton said: “We’ve all agreed we’ve had so much fun and we can’t wait until next year and the 10 miles.”

Teams from local businesses taking part included a group from Rayner Essex Accountants and Hour Glass Fitness.

All walkers were spurred along the way with cheery waves and words of encouragement from the St John’s Ambulance team and event marshals. The local cadets were also on hand at Marshalswick to hand out snacks from Clearly Scrumptious.

After walking until the early hours, participants were presented with a warming cup of tea in their own Midnight Walk mug courtesy of Rachel Jeffrey.

Continuing with the pink theme, Kirsty from Fuchsia Pink gave each walker a pink gerbera to say thank you.

Gillian Barnett, Rennie Grove director of fundraising and marketing, said: “We would like to say a big thank you to all our walkers, volunteers and sponsors who together made this event a great experience for everyone involved.

“With just a small percentage of the funds we need to run our service coming from the government, the support of people in the local community for our fundraising events is so important.”

She added: “Saturday night was a wonderful example of what can be achieved when everyone pulls together and if every walker were able to raise £150, the event would raise nearly £60,000. A sum like this is close to funding three nurses for a whole year which would be an incredible achievement.”