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Poignant fly-by for Malvern stalwart fund-raiser Reg Box
THE distinctive red helicopter of the Midlands Air Ambulance hovered unusually still over Worcester Crematorium as it gave a poignant send off to one of its greatest supporters.
Reg Box, aged 95, of Brook Farm Drive, Malvern, dedicated himself to supporting the charity, raising almost £130,000.
Right up until his final weeks he was a frequent visitor to care homes all over the county, where he would entertain residents by belting out his favourite Foster and Allen songs while wearing his trademark waistcoat and hat.
In recognition of his “incredible” contribution, the air ambulance honoured him with a flypast to ensure he was given a send-off fit for a true community hero.
More than 100 people gazed up into the sunshine as the helicopter hovered above as Mr Box’s coffin – adorned with floral displays depicting his trademark outfit – was carried into the chapel.
Black was conspicuously absent as guests, at the request of Mr Box’s family, turned out in an array of brightly-coloured clothing.
His son Steve said Mr Box himself had requested a colourful funeral and joked he had always said that if there were more than 50 people at his funeral “they should have a game of bingo” – a reference to the fundraising Friday night games he organised for many years at his beloved Malvern Town Football Club.
Helen Stevens, communications manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, said: “Reg was a kind, humorous and generous volunteer who was well-loved by everyone at the charity,” she said.
And Mr Box’s support of the charity is not yet quite complete.
His son Nigel is planning to present a cheque for a further £4,200, which Mr Box had raised before his death, during the charity’s open day at Strensham Services, near Worcester, tomorrow (Saturday).
He said he wanted to make the donation as his father’s “final legacy”.
“It will be nice to acknowledge the amazing total dad raised and to thank all of the people involved in helping him to such an outstanding amount, from the helpers and players at the Friday night bingo events to the rest and care homes that allowed him to entertain and brighten so lives,” he said.
Mr Box died peacefully at Worcestershire Royal Hospital on Saturday, August 24.
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