COMMUNITY spirit was out in force as Gosport residents got behind a fundraising event to show support for the parents of a young boy who died suddenly in tragic circumstances.
Eight-year-old Leo Burton died after bumping his head while playing outside, leaving the whole town shocked.
But despite the tragedy, there has been a determination by the people of Gosport to do all they can to help the family.
Residents and businesses from the area pulled together to donate raffle prizes for the event at The Fox Tavern in North Street today from midday to 4pm - with landlords from the pub Chesney Quigley and Steve Davis donating a £100 bar tab for the raffle.
Over £600 of tickets was sold prior to the event with many more people turning up to buy tickets on the day.
The tavern fully embraced the spirit of the occasion with Mickey Mouse decorations in the garden while there was a barbecue for people to enjoy, along with the raffle.
Fundraiser Lisa Wootton said: ‘It’s been really good to see all the support for this event. Everyone has been so generous in donating raffle prizes and buying tickets - it’s been a real community effort.
‘People have donated all sorts from chocolate to wine and other drinks - businesses and ordinary people have gone above and beyond for this poor family.
‘What happened with Leo has shocked the community, especially as he was so young. Everyone felt it was important to do something for the family. It’s a heartbreaking thing to happen and my heart really goes out to them.’
She added: ‘The Fox Tavern have been amazing after donating a £100 bar tab for a raffle and agreeing to hold the event, which we are very grateful for.’
Teacher Jen Evison, of Jen Creates, donated a cake she had made as well as a five hour baking course. She said: ‘We know Leo’s family and just wanted to do our bit to support them at this difficult time. It took me around five hours to bake the cake.
‘This support has been incredible from everyone and it’s been such a lovely occasion as well.’
Pub regular, Andy Thwaite, donated a £100 Amazon gift, after hearing of the campaign to raise funds. ‘I don’t know the family but the money being raised is for such a good cause I just wanted to help,’ he said.
‘Whatever I win in the raffle I will donate back to the family. It’s great to see so many people turn up and support the family especially after losing Leo in such a tragic way.’
Landlady Chesney added: ‘We just wanted to help out in any way we could to support the family. The whole community has come together for this.
‘We didn’t think there would be so many people here for it but it’s great to see everyone rallying round.
‘We sold £600 worth of tickets in the week leading up to it alone and so are expecting to raise quite a bit more, hopefully £1,000 or more.
‘We’re a real community pub and like to like to support good causes wherever we can. It’s nice to see so many people come out today and to be so generous.’