More than 1,000 revellers took part in a fun day this weekend, commemorating the anniversary of Hadfield man Aaron Sullivan who lost his battle with cancer last year.
The event, organised by his best friend Michael Halliwell, raised £2,700 for the young oncology unit at the Christie Hospital, in Manchester, where Aaron was treated.
Featuring a football matches, dance and cheerleading performances, a bouncy castle, children’s rides, games and stalls, Michael said he hoped to turn the milestone into day of celebration.
The fete, at Glossopdale Community College’s Hadfield site, was the second fundraiser Michael has organised in memory of his childhood friend.
The first was originally organised to raise money to buy the terminally ill Aaron a holiday, but sadly he died the day before the event, aged 20.
It raised £3,000, part of which was spent on a memorial bench in Glossop Cemetery, while the rest was donated to the Christie.
Michael, who works at the Moon and Sixpence pub and at Hadfield astroturf, will also be shaving his head for the cause this evening (Thursday), after losing the City vs United fans football game on Saturday.
The 21-year-old said he grew up living down the road from Aaron where he lived with his grandmother, Ann Smith, on Mersey Bank Road, and that they both attended Hadfield Infant School, St Andrew’s Junior School and Glossopdale Community College.
Michael said: “We went to nursery together, we went on family holidays together, we even had a paper round together. Then after school, I left for university and Aaron went to Tameside College to become a joiner.
He added he felt inspired to do something when his friend was diagnosed in January 2011, saying: “It’s a shame it takes something like that to make you do want to do something like this. Last year it was emotional; it didn’t feel quite real. This year we had mixed emotions; we were celebrating but it was also sad.”
“Aaron was really caring and would go out of his was to help everybody. He was someone you could talk to. He was a really cheeky lad but he would always get away with things with a cheeky smile. He was growing up into a fine young man.”