A charity ball to raise money in memory of a woman who worked for Yorkshire Television for more than 25 years has raised nearly £20,000, twice the target.

Heather Clark was diagnosed with incurable ovarian cancer and died in June this year. She was born with thalidomide related impairments which meant she had no arms or legs but she overcame challenges to work as a researcher and producer at Yorkshire Television for more than 25 years.  For many years she worked on ITV’s Calendar but previously worked on programmes such as Crime Stoppers, the Christmas Toy Appeal and the Tonight programme.

After discovering the Riding for the Disabled Association, Heather took up carriage driving and went on to compete at national and international level.

When she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer Heather contacted the ovarian cancer charity, Ovacome who provide vital support for all women with ovarian cancer, and their loved ones, through a range of free support services; a free telephone support line, a 24 hour online forum, email support, instant chat service and face to face support groups.

Before her death Heather organised a charity fundraising Ball for Ovacome.  Her friend and colleague, Calendar presenter Christine Talbot said; “Up until a couple of days before she died Heather was frantically organising every little detail of the Ball. She set herself the target of raising ten thousand pounds from the event as she was determined to help the charity after all they did to support her. It was an amazing night – a terrific tribute to a very special woman.

Heather initially booked the Marriott Hotel in Leeds for 150 people but the Ball was instantly a sell-out and 300 attended.  Christine, along with Calendar presenter Gaynor Barnes compèred the evening which included entertainment from Jack Holmes and Bridge Brass, and the Frank Sinatra tribute act, Jack Randle. Calendar presenter Duncan Wood held a charity auction which raised  over two thousand pounds.

The Chief Executive of Ovacome, Victoria Clare, attended the event and said afterwards, “We are so grateful to Heather and all her friends who attended the Ball and gave so generously.  It’s incredibly sad that Heather couldn't be at there, as she’d hoped but we raised a glass to her and her legacy is helping other women who find themselves with the same diagnosis as her.


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