Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Fundraiser to carry Olympic torch

Photo: L-R, Josh Smith, Stephen Smith and Tom Smith

A Cranbrook entrepreneur is to carry the Olympic torch through Hastings tomorrow (Wednesday) in recognition of his fundraising efforts for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Film director Tom Smith, 24, embarked on two initiatives to raise more than £5,500 for the life-saving helicopter which airlifted his father following a bonfire accident.

He launched a Blue Book of discount vouchers after persuading 57 local businesses to sign up to the scheme, with proceeds from the sale of every book going to the charity.

He also made a documentary about Cranbrook Football Club’s battle to attract a record number of fans for the biggest match in the town’s sporting history.

As a result he landed a job with broadcast hire company Video Europe and was successfully nominated by his brother Sam to carry the Olympic torch as part of Lloyds TSB’s nationwide search for inspirational people.

Tom, of Angley Park, will carry the torch from 454 Old London Road at 9.10am torch but insists he owes it to the pilot, doctor and paramedic who helped keep his father alive.

He said: “It was a real shock to find out I’d been selected to carry the torch and I didn’t have a clue about it at all but it’s going to be a great occasion and I can’t wait to do it.

“It’s quite ironic that my dad was involved in a fire and now I will be carrying the Olympic Flame through the town whose team we played in the final.”

The Mighty Cranbrook Town charted the team’s battle to win promotion from the East Sussex League in their match against Hastings side Travaux FC.

It was produced by ex-professional footballer Tom in aid of the Air Ambulance after his film producer father was involved in a bonfire accident in June, 2009.
Stephen Smith had been lighting a fire at home when he suffered 20 per cent burns to his back and legs. He was airlifted to the specialist Broomfield Burns Unit in Essex and has since made a full recovery.

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