Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
6 March 2014

Son's memorial year for ex-Serviceman dad

How Mark Laws is raising money for SSAFA in a touching tribute to his dad ex-Serviceman Stephen, with over £27,000 collected during a creative year of fundraising.

Son's memorial year for ex-Serviceman dad- SSAFA

Since July 2012, Mark Laws has been raising money for SSAFA in memory of his dad ex-serviceman Stephen Laws. So far the Stephen Laws Memorial Year has collected an incredible £27,000 for SSAFA and the Sunderland Football Foundation’s Foundation of Light. From golf days to gala dinners with Kriss Akabusi, from challenge events to an auction of football memorabilia from all 92 clubs in the English leagues, Mark's fundraising demonstrates his creativity and his commitment to paying tribute to his dad.

These incredible efforts were recently recognised when Mark won the Community Champion Award from his employer DMG Media along with a donation for £5000. Mark has inspired others to support SSAFA too - his friends John and Leigh took on the Snowdonia Marathon last year and raised £5000 as part of The Stephen Laws Memorial Year.

Mark says, “Following my dad's death I wanted to do something amazing in his memory... he spent 22 years in the Army and knowing what this time meant to him I chose SSAFA to represent this part of his life.”

“I am not a professional fundraiser and I have never done anything like this before so I am truly grateful to the team at SSAFA who have provided great guidance on how to make sure the events I run are as successful as they could be and avoid some simple pitfalls!”

In June this year, Mark is hoping to enter a team in the Nijmegen March something that his dad took part in three times during his military career. The event is a four day march in which participants will cover 200km with over 42,000 people taking part annually. Mark aims to hit his £40,000 target with the march as it's his last event for the Stephen Laws Memorial Year.

Megan Bailey from SSAFA's Fundraising Team, says, "Marks dedication and commitment to supporting our Forces and their families has been unfailing over the past two years. He’s a truly inspirational fundraiser and his hard work echoes SSAFA’s in supporting the whole Forces family. We're so proud that we have been able to support him every step of the way and we hope more people will get behind Nijmegen to make his final dream come true!”

Visit Mark’s fundraising page to show your support for the Stephen Laws Memorial Year.

To find out how you can take part in the Nijmegen March as a sponsor or participant, contact the SSAFA Team.