Pub regulars have shown burglars who’s boss by fundraising ten times more than the marathon sponsorship cash they stole.
Thieves broke into The Mitre in Buckingham and stole around £100 which had been collected to support pub regular Emma Venables’ London Marathon run.
Emma, 35, completed the marathon last month for her friend Dave Barrett and his six-year-old son Oliver, who both suffer from rare heart condition, cardiomyopathy.
But the mum-of-two – along with pub owners Keith and Jane Templeman – held a revenge fundraising event.
They raised more than £1,100 on the night to replace the collection pot, to the delight of Dave and his wife Miranda.
Marketing manager Emma, who lives in Thornborough, said: “It was amazing. Miranda said it made her cry how much I had raised.
When you think of the spirit of the collection, how could anybody do that?”Keith Templeman
“They were so chuffed because it hit her hard when Oliver was diagnosed, even though she was half expecting it.
“Because I had already run the marathon, it was really disappointing to hear about the theft.”
Mr Templeman locked up the pub at 2am on Sunday, May 3 but by 8am, thieves had broken in through a window.
They made off with Emma’s red collection box, a huge Smirnoff bottle of cash for Buckingham Community Hospital and half a bottle of Disaronno.
Mr Templeman said: “When you think of the spirit of the collection, how could anybody do that?
“It took us a while to work out what had been taken.
“But it just shows something as bad as being burgled can be turned into such a good thing.”
Police are hunting the burglars but Mr and Mrs Templeman – along with Emma – decided to make a stand.
Emma sold raffle tickets at the event on Saturday night and ran an auction of hand-made items. She even auctioned off her partner, Adrian Lynch, and his DIY services for £50.
Emma, who was cheered on by her son Maxwell, six, and daughter Keira, three, finished the marathon in five hours 19 minutes.
She has raised £3,000 for Cardiomyopathy UK and is in the ballot for next year’s race, when she hopes to break the five-hour mark.
If you have any information about the theft at The Mitre, call detective constable Paula Benson on 101.
Alternatively, call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.