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Seeing pink as loved Beth Clench is remembered

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 11, 2014

  • Pretty in pink. Danielle Morris and Stacy Millard don their water wings for the new years day swim. BOTL20140101B-003_C

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A SEA of pink shone through the torrential rain at a New Year's Day swim in Fowey in memory of a much-loved school teacher.

Approximately 300 people turned out to support the 65 brave souls who took the plunge at Readymoney beach on Wednesday in tribute to Beth Clench.

The 24-year-old from Par died in November following a courageous 18-month battle with cancer.

Family and friends rocked by the death of Beth decided to stage the swim and raise some of the £1,500 needed to buy a bench in memory of the fun-loving and beautiful blonde.

The swim was the idea of family friend Katy Warnes, supported by an army of old and young to stage the event.

Sally Dunn, Katy's sister and a close friend of Beth's, said it was a very emotional day and the support was incredible.

In honour of Beth participants adorned themselves in pink, which was the bubbly school's teacher's favourite colour, before making the splash.

The event has already raised double the amount of the original target.

The scene even attracted the support of comedienne Dawn French and her husband Mark Bignall, who live in the town.

Miss Dunn said: "We are just so thrilled with how it went and how many people helped out and turned up and how much money was raised; it was just fantastic.

"It was absolutely brilliant. We can't thank people enough."

When they returned home and pulled out the money to dry it off they were blown away by people's generosity.

She said: "We started to count up the money and I was in absolute floods of tears because it was over £3,000 and we still have more to come."

"Beth was my best friend and she was absolutely amazing. I know people always say when someone unfortunately passes away that they were brilliant but Beth really was."

The fundraiser would have definitely appealed to Beth's sense of humour, added Miss Dunn.

"She would have loved it. Beth was so full of fun. She would have laughed her head off, especially at the boys in their pink shorts and mankinis.

Beth's mother Sue Abbott-Smith said: "I would like to express my thanks to everybody who turned up and who helped organise it; I was just overwhelmed."

Family and friends would like to use some of the money to install a bench in the Fowey churchyard where Beth's ashes are scattered and another in a spot in the town.

Plans are also afoot to register Beth's Inspiration as a charity, which will help make life a little more comfortable and pleasant for those also fighting cancer and their families.

The next fundraiser will be on January 19 at St Veep Showground.

Visit Beth's Inspiration on Facebook for further details.

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