Paragliding over Mont Blanc is not the way most octogenarians would choose to celebrate a landmark birthday. But then Sussex ‘Action Gran’ Shirley Price has made a habit of defying convention.
In the process, ‘Shirl the Whirl’ as she is known by her local community in Bodle Street Green, has also raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity.
Her latest high-flying stunt, carried out on Christmas Eve to mark her 85th birthday, brought in a further £6,000 for the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People (ESAB) of which she is a Vice Patron as well as Chairman of both the Friends of ESAB and its Tuesday Club which organises social events for ESAB members.
Shirley handed over a cheque to Roger Thomas, Chairman of the Trustees, at a social evening in the Bodle Street Green village hall attended by 72 supporters and friends of ESAB.
During the evening, for which Shirley provided a three course dinner, a film was shown of her tandem paraglide from 4,000 feet up in the French Alps.
Shirley said: “It was a most enjoyable event and I am extremely grateful to all those who bought tickets to come along and so help to boost the money raised.
“I would also like to thank my family who organised the paraglide for me and the dozens of people who gave so generously to help make it so worthwhile doing.
“I only wish some of them could have been there to see my face when I was told that I needed to run at 20 miles an hour towards the edge in order to get airborne, otherwise we could slide 500 yards down the mountain on our stomachs. With no one down there to help, we would have needed to climb back up to try again. I can assure, you, my legs have never moved quicker.
the Friends of the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People has organised an Auction of Promises at a charity dinner at the Powder Mills Hotel, Battle, on April 20.
Tickets for Glyndebourne, a fully furnished, hand-made doll’s house and a morning on the Cheltenham gallops with top national hunt trainer Kim Bailey are among the lots that will go under the hammer. A few tables for the dinner are still available from Shirley Price at email@example.com or calling her on 01323 833942.
Shirley said: “I now have five years to decide what I’m going to do to celebrate my 90th birthday. I went parasailing at 70, wing walking at 75 and sky diving at 80 so my options of things to do in the air are dwindling. But I’m sure I’ll come up with something. Watch this space!”
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