Lisa Colhoun 'overwhelmed' after raising £60,000 in memory of husband Christopher
THE widow of a Co Tyrone teacher and footballer who died earlier this year has said she is "overwhelmed" that £60,000 has been raised in his memory.
Father-of-two Christopher Colhoun (33) died just 24 hours after being admitted to hospital with flu in January this year.
His heartbroken wife Lisa decided to honour his memory by raising money for St Patrick's Primary School in Donaghmore, where he was appointed vice-principal last July.
More than 340 people joined her in running the Belfast marathon last month, many wearing a specially-made blue and black jersey with #CC23 printed on the back - Christopher's initials and his favourite number.
A total of Â£20,000 was also raised through a raffle which had more than 100 prizes including overnight hotel stays.
Donations also came from coffee mornings and other events, with Ógra Youth Club in Coalisland - where Christopher often helped out during the school holidays - holding a balloon release in his memory.
From Pomeroy, where he was an Ulster Intermediate Football Championship winner with the Plunketts club, Christopher married Lisa more than four years ago and they lived together in Clonoe with their two young daughters.
Announcing the total raised by fundraising efforts, she said "my heart is broken but so filled with pride as I let everyone know that we have reached a new total of £60,000".
"I'm completely overwhelmed by the amount raised," she said.
"I'm honoured that so many people got together to help remember Christopher and help create something so special.
"Though to be honest I am mostly just so proud of Christopher as I think it's a testament to him and how he lived his life as so many people wanted to be part of it all."
Support for Lisa's fundraising came from far and wide, with people as far away as America taking part in their own sponsored runs.
Lisa said she "didn't have to ask one person to help" as they got in contact with her to offer what they could.
She thanked friends, family and school and GAA communities for "helping me through the darkest of days".
"You are helping me keep Christopher's memory a strong and inspiring one for our girls, you are helping keep him alive in their lives."