THE Professional Darts Corporation are delighted to announce that the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust will be their official charity partner for 2015-2016.
The Stoke-based charity was founded in 1999 in memory of local girl Donna Louise Hackney, who passed away aged 16, initially to provide a children’s hospice service for Staffordshire and Cheshire.
A community nursing team was established in 2002 before the opening of the Donna Louise Hospice in August 2003 to provide care for young people with life-threatening conditions and support for their families.
The partnership will see a series of darts-based events held throughout the next year to raise funds for the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust, and was launched by Stoke-based 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor.
Darts players across Staffordshire will be able to take part in the Darts For Donna Louise Masters event, which will see a series of local qualifying events held before a grand final decides the event’s champions.
Taylor, along with two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis, will also take to the stage in a special charity exhibition night at Stoke’s Kings Hall on Wednesday October 21, as the venue – which hosted the inaugural night of Premier League Darts back in 2005 – welcomes back their local heroes.
Phil Taylor and PDC Chairman Barry Hearn will also be guests of honor at a special Sports Dinner on Tuesday December 1 in Stoke, while fans can also get involved in other fundraising events throughout 2015.
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust is a wonderful charity which does some amazing work with children and their families throughout Staffordshire and Cheshire.
“Our partnership will not only give darts fans from the area the chance to meet some top stars during the year but also to take part in special charity events themselves.
“It is a privilege for the Professional Darts Corporation to be able to support the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust throughout 2015 and our aim is not only to raise much-needed funds for them but also to help raise their ever-growing profile.”
Melanie Williams, Head of High Value Partnerships for The Donna Louise said: “We are delighted to be chosen as the PDC charity of the year for 2015/16.
“Partnerships like this are extremely important in not only helping to raise the £2.5 million needed each year to run the Hospice, but also to raise awareness of the work we do with life-limited children and their families.
“We are so lucky to have Phil Taylor as one of our Celebrity Champions and what better way to bring darts home to Stoke than through this partnership!”
Stoke-born pop superstar Robbie Williams is a patron of the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, while Phil Taylor is one of their Charity Champions alongside the likes of comedians Jo Brand and Nick Hancock, stage star Jonathan Wilkes, actress Rachel Shenton and footballer Rory Delap.
Phil Taylor, the 16-time World Champion, said: “I’m delighted that the PDC are supporting the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, whose work in the local community is invaluable.
“I’m fortunate to have already been able to work with the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, but this partnership means that fans across the darting community will be able to come together for a great cause.”