Gym-a-thon will raise money to bring a father’s body home
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A fitness fanatic will be putting his healthy hobby to good use, when he takes part in a 24-hour gym-a-thon.
Kevin Howes, who works at Pond's Flowers on Norwich market, will be taking on the challenge for Beau Archer, who is raising money to bring his father's body home from Cuba.
Beau's father, Lee, died in December last year, but his family only found out months later.
An ambitious bid was then launched to raise the £15,000 needed to exhume and repatriate his body.
And as Kevin, who along with Pond's Flowers' owner Alex Pond, went to school with Lee, he felt he wanted to help out.
Kevin will be working out at The Gym, in Norwich, for 24 hours in November, and Alex has been providing the support in fundraising.
'We went through school with Lee, then we'd muck about and go to all the clubs when we were older, and football away matches. We had heard he was missing, but when we heard he'd died it was a shock,' said Kevin, who lives in Norwich city centre.
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'We're using the stall as the place people can come to donate, I wanted to raise £1,000 and now I'm only £50 off. Going to the gym is my thing, and I know if something had happened to me Lee would have making himself busy to help my family out.'
Alex said Lee would always come to his stall to have a chat and a cup of tea, and that he and Kevin were both shocked when they heard he had died. He added: 'Beau doesn't have the money and you never know it could cost more than the £15,000, so we wanted to do our bit.'
The pair have had a lot of support from their fellow market traders, as George's Jacket Spuds has agreed to supply food for the night, and others have donated.
After Lee died in December, he was buried in Cuba as his body not been claimed after the 30 days specified by Cuban sanitary law.
Beau last spoke to his father on December 7, but after he didn't return home later that month as planned, concerns began to grow.
In March, he reported Lee missing to the British Embassy, who launched an official enquiry, and an agonising seven months later was told Lee had died while swimming off the coast of Guanabo Beach.
As well as Kevin's upcoming gym-a-thon, money has been raised through skydives, generous donations and a soul night planned for October 21.
• To donate to the gym-a-thon, visit Kevin or Alex on Pond's Flowers, in Norwich market row D, facing Gentleman's Walk, stalls 88 and 89. You can also still donate online to Beau's fund by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sns-skydive