A present-less party for 90 year old

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By Yarlington | Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:31

Jack Frapple celebrated his 90th birthday on January 1st 2014 but rather than opening gifts from friends and family his thoughts were on raising money for a local South West charity.

Jack asked family and friends to donate the money they would have spent to a collection for the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance. A total of £300 was raised thanks to his kind gesture.

Jack, who has lived at Yarlington Housing Group's Parsonage Close Retirement Living Scheme in Somerton, Somerset, for 14 years said, 'I think the charity does a marvellous job and I wanted to support their fantastic work. I often see the helicopter in the area, once it landed in the fields opposite my bungalow; it's nice to know I can do something to help.'

Nearly 60 years ago Jack experienced helicopters in a very different way when he was a paratrooper with the army during World War 2. He fought in the Battle of Arnhem in Holland, was captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner or war. On returning to England he lived in Cadbury, Somerset, where he worked for Cow & Gate .

He spent some time in Wiltshire, where he worked in the forestry team for the National Trust, before returning to Somerset and setting up home with his wife and three children in Somerton. During the 26 years up to retirement Jack worked as a postman in Yeovil and then Somerton, 'That's how I know so many of the locals' he said.

His popularity was apparent at his Birthday party as over 80 people joined him, to celebrate a local hotel. Daughter Gloria said 'Dad kept adding people right up to the last minute… we had to keep calling to increase numbers!'

Karen Cook, volunteer with the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, concluded, 'It is very generous of Jack not to think of himself on such a special occasion. The money he has raised in lieu of gifts is a fantastic amount and will help support the work we do. The charity receives no government funding and we rely on donations and fundraising – for every hour the helicopter is up in the air it costs £1200, but the cost of saving one life is priceless. We really appreciate that Jack picked our charity to donate to.'



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