A BIRTHDAY girl has celebrated her half-century with a donation to seven charities and groups in place of gifts.
Jackie Benstead’s birthday charity bash managed to raise £1,179 after she invited all her family and friends to a village fair at The Old School, in Cornmill Lane, Tutbury, to celebrate her 50 years.
Mrs Benstead asked guests to make donations to charity in lieu of birthday presents.
She said: “I was turning 50 and I wanted a party but I have never really been into hostessing and also with having such a large family you often find that people cannot make it and you leave people out.
“I thought about having a fair because people can pop in and out and I can invite more people.”
The 50-year-old, from Cromwell Close, Tutbury, decided to organise activities for the fair and money would be raised for charities.
Among the group that benefitted are Midlands Air Ambulance and British Red Cross who both received a total of £637.
The Footprints water project led by Stretton Church Band received £30, while Richard Wakefield School was given £150 and Tutbury and Hatton Scouts raised £200 from selling burgers.
A pupil from The de Ferrers Academy also raised £115 for her charity trip to Ethiopia.
Mrs Benstead said: “We managed to raise more than £1,000 which I was not expecting. I thought we would raise about £500 so I am amazed.
“It was wonderful, like a dream. I don’t think any other birthday parties will match up.
“We had about 100 people turn up which was great.
“I had the idea of a fair about a year beforehand and it took about six months to decide what to do.
“I did have a few compliments afterwards saying what a good idea it was.”
Activities included the Stretton Church Band, a bouncy slide, tombola, quizzes and a treasure hunt.
The school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) also supplied teas and cakes.
“I am definitely thinking about doing this again as my husband’s 50th birthday is coming up in 18 months.”