04:30PM, Friday 25 September 2020
Photo by James Shrager
Friends of a man whose body was found in the river in Charvil have raised more than £18,000 for a fundraiser in his memory.
Alexander Stern, 36, was last seen alive in Sonning on Saturday, January 11 and, after an extensive search, was found in a river in Charvil by Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue (BLSAR) on Friday, April 3.
Now a group of Alex’s friends, including Will Drew, Will Hicks, James Hulme, Patrick Timmis and Henry Maclellan, are set to run from Sonning on a 50-mile journey back to one of Alex’s favourite pubs in Chelsea on October 10.
The group are conducting the run to raise money for BLSAR and to also raise awareness of suicide and mental health.
Alongside the run, a group of cyclists, led by Alex’s cousin James Shrager, are set to cycle approximately 75 miles, following the river from Pangborne to South Kensington, and will meet up with the runners at Kew Bridge to complete the last stretch of the journey to South Kensington.
A third group of Alex’s friends will also be joining up with the 50-mile runners and the cyclists at Kew Bridge to run the last 10km to South Kensington.
Patrick Timmis, a close friend of Alex’s who is taking part in the run, said: “Through the long and painful months after Alex’s disappearance, BLSAR worked tirelessly in their quest to find Alex, searching the river despite incredibly difficult conditions with almost continual flooding.
“This was a major operation over hundreds of man-hours with helicopters, drones, sonar, dogs and divers scouring the river in Sonning where Alex was last seen alive.
“Made up of an army of volunteers, we want to recognise their fantastic work and give something back to allow them to continue to help find other missing people.”
In addition to the fundraiser, non-profit community-based mental health organisation, Sidekick, which was founded by James, will be running a month-long campaign to encourage conversations surrounding mental health.
The group, who have surpassed their initial target of £10,000 and have now raised more than £18,000, are now aiming to raise £20,000.
To view the fundraiser visit: https://localgiving. org/fundraising/stern50/
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