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News Cancer fund


A FAMILY has raised more than £5,000 for a blood cancer charity in memory of Josh Stock. The former Valley Park School student (27) died in November last year after being diagnosed with leukaemia in August 2019. Josh’s


dad Marc Lemezma


wrote: “His last hope was a stem cell donation, which was unsuc- cessful because of the severity of his disease. “We were shocked to learn that out of 7 billion people on this planet, just two viable matches could be found.” To donate go to www.justgiv- ing.com/fundraising/joshstock.


Choir appeal A LOCAL choir is looking for new


members. The Rochester Singers meet at St


Paul’s Church in Boxley Road from 8-9.30pm on Wednesdays. No au- dition is required and entry is £3.50. A spokesman said: “We sing ev- erything from show tunes, pop, rock, madrigals to classical.” Call Jane on 01634 408442 or just come along.


downsmail.co.uk


Third wave fears make river festival ‘too risky’


THE hugely popular Maidstone River Festival this summer has been cancelled – the latest victim of COVID-19.


The organising committee was hopeful of being able to stage the event but a potential “third wave” of the virus and strict safety guid- ance made it “too risky”. Saying he was “bitterly disap- pointed”, chairman David Naghi added: “A lot of people have been in touch about the Maidstone River Festival, which was due to be held on Saturday, July 31. "We have decided it is still too risky to put on an outdoor event this year and comply with all the event safety guidance. We are al- ready thinking ahead to next year’s event on Saturday, July 30. "The River Festival is a free com- munity event and can only take place with the support and good- will of the people of Maidstone. “We hope that next year, in the


week in the lead up to the events on the Saturday, the town business will be holding events as well.” The festival is famous for its raft race, fireworks display, live music and family fun. It was first established in the 1980s as a small, almost informal gathering of boats, but grew to be a huge event in the Maidstone calen- dar, using the River Medway and its banks to its maximum benefit. In 2017, after Maidstone Bor- ough Council withdrew its finan-


cial support, the event depended on local sponsors, such as Clive Emson auctioneers.


For more information visit


www.maidstoneriverfestival.com or follow news of the event on Twitter and Facebook. l In a separate development, the Ramblin’ Man Fair to be staged at Mote park this summer has also been cancelled over concerns about live event restrictions, trav- elling artists and an alleged lack of Government help.


p20


Contact us today Canterbury 01227 643250 Maidstone 01622 698000 Tenterden 01580 765722


www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk 12 DM2019


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