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Paint Highbury Pink: Annual fundraiser raises more money than ever in memory of breast cancer campaigner

PUBLISHED: 17:57 09 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:57 09 October 2017

The event raises money for breast cancer charities. Picture: Terry Stacy

The event raises money for breast cancer charities. Picture: Terry Stacy

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Friends and family of a breast cancer campaigner who died in January came together to carry on her good work - and smash her fundraising record.

Michelle Lovell receiving a civic award from the mayor of Islington Cllr Barry Edwards.Michelle Lovell receiving a civic award from the mayor of Islington Cllr Barry Edwards.

Paint Highbury Pink, an annual event until its founder Michelle Lovell fell ill, was brought back in her memory at the weekend.

Michelle owned Mrs Lovell’s Greengrocer and To Be Established in Highbury Barn. She launched Paint Highbury Pink in 2007 to raise money after beating the illness.

That first year she took £250 in donations by selling cakes, but the event soon became a fixture in the calendar and in 2014 more than £10,000 was raised.

The day, always held during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, was put on hold when Michelle’s cancer returned. Sadly, in January, she lost her battle aged 56 – leaving behind a husband and two daughters.

Crowds turned out for the Paint Highbury Pink fundraiser. Picture: Terry StacyCrowds turned out for the Paint Highbury Pink fundraiser. Picture: Terry Stacy

Soon after, her family and friends decided to bring the event back bigger and better than ever to support Breast Cancer Now, a leading research charity.

Michelle’s friend Gianna Cinalli said: “We’ve certainly bettered previous years. It was a massive success. A lot of people helped out – it was a real community thing.

“It was just a case of carrying on something she started.

“It was put on hold for a couple of years but from the moment of her passing it was like: ‘Let’s do this for her.’

Terry Stacy and Jeremy Corbyn, who dropped by to show his support. Picture: Terry StacyTerry Stacy and Jeremy Corbyn, who dropped by to show his support. Picture: Terry Stacy

“It’s become very important for everybody else, she has a great circle of friends and family.

“I’d also like to say thank you to all the local businesses who made big efforts to donate.”

Former council leader and friend of Michelle, Terry Stacy, added: “It was wonderful to see the Highbury community come out to support this year’s event.

“It was a great tribute to Michelle and her efforts over many years to fight this terrible disease.

“They did her proud.”

An online fundraiser will remain open for the rest of the month to allow as much as possible to be raised for Breast Cancer Now.

To donate, click here.

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