Longton Zombiethon success despite missing out on British record

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A Zombiethon held in Longton Park has been hailed a success – despite failing in a bid to break a British record.

Hundreds of Stoke-on-Trent residents dressed as the walking dead in support of the Zombiethon event which raised money for Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.

Zombiethon joined together with the annual Longton Park Halloween event run by The Queens Partnership.

Organisers were hoping to beat the UK record of 4,000 zombies in one place.

However only 250 people turned out to show their support on the day (October 26) despite many more signing up for the event beforehand.

Although organisers didn’t quite reach the £3,000 target on the day, they were still pleased to promote awareness for the charity.

Lisa Courtney, regional fundraiser at Donna Louise Hospice, said: “I’m really happy with the amount of people who came dressed up and showed their support.

“It would have been nice if a few more people had turned up. A lot of the people who had registered didn’t come.

“I think next year we may charge people to sign up so we can generate more funds and raise more money.”

The Zombiethon kicked off with a performance by Steelworks Dance & Performance Academy, who danced to Beautiful Monster by Ne-Yo.

Three of the trophies donated by a local business were given out for best-dressed group, adult and child.

Zombie-walkers received a certificate for taking part.

Father and son, Darren and Shane Paynter, won the trophy for best-dressed group.

Darren said: “We just heard about Zombiethon and thought it was a good cause, so we decided to come and check it out. We raised about £50 today for the sponsored walk.

“We didn’t know there was a trophy going so I am really happy about winning it – this is an extra bonus for turning up!”

Zombiethon founder Damon Simms, 40, of Queens Park, said: “To be honest I got a really big buzz from it all during the walk.

“I looked over my shoulder and saw a bunch of people behind me…I was worried people wouldn’t come because of the poor weather.

“I think it is important the community has got something fun they can get involved in that is for a charity.”

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