Feb 27 2012 By Jon Batham
MIDDLESEX came closer to home in announcing their new charity partner this week.
The tenants of Lord's marked their return to the County Championship's top table by linking up with Hampton-based children's hospice service Shooting Star CHASE.
The partnership will initially for two years and brings to a close five years of support for Breakthrough Breast Cancer - an association which raised over £125,000.
Middlesex chief Executive Vinny Codrington claimed the time was right to move the focus from a nationwide charity to one with a focus on their home county.
He said: "All of us at Middlesex CCC are delighted to welcome Shooting Star CHASE as the club's new charity partner.
"We felt that after five years of supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer, it was time for us to switch our fundraising emphasis to a charity which had a concentrated focus on offering a service to those within the county of Middlesex and surrounding areas.
"Shooting Star CHASE fits that bill perfectly, and with the continued support of our members and supporters, are looking forward to helping to make a real difference to this hugely worthwhile local charity over the coming years."
Shooting Star CHASE supports over 500 families with a child or teenager not expected to reach their 19th birthday, within and around Middlesex and London.
Their aim is to make every day count for the children, teenagers and their families, offering practical, nursing and emotional support.
The initial two year charity partnership will see the club embracing a host of fundraising initiatives for Shooting Star CHASE, with ground collections planned at each of the Middlesex Panthers' home twenty20 fixtures, donations to the charity from the players' own Player of the Month awards and proceeds from the sale of Middlesex CCC replica kit and merchandise.
Other fundraising events planned in the diary, include Middlesex's MD of Cricket, Angus Fraser, running this year's London Marathon for Shooting Star CHASE.
In a fantastic show of support, Middlesex CCC's new long term principal sponsors, Brooks Macdonald, will also be playing their part in raising funds for the charity, with them matching Middlesex's donation to the charity from the sales of all replica playing shirts and twenty20 caps.
This unique joint initiative will see Shooting Star CHASE benefitting to the tune of £5 for each shirt sold and £4 for each twenty20 cap.