November 18, 2021 6.01 am

Lincoln strongman marking decade of charity challenges with car deadlift competition

Raising funds for Salvation Army and a terminally ill man’s bucket list

A Lincoln strongman who has raised around £20,000 over the last decade through various charity challenges will hold a car deadlift competition in the city next month.

Dave Johnson will once again be doing the challenge in memory of his close friend Mark Browne, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer. He has completed over 20 charity challenges since the first one in 2011.

The most recent challenge, last month, saw a charity truck pull and raffle organised by Dave and fellow strongman Craig Collins.

They raised around £2,000 to help Joshua Bilton from Lincoln, who has a terminal illness and is trying to tick as much off his bucket list as possible.

Dave and Craig were also both involved in a charity truck pull in July to raise money towards a new special wheelchair for Lincoln teenager Eloise Needham, and to charities Bearded Fishermen and Macmillan.

Dave will now be holding a car deadlift competition at Pacific Gym’s car park on Waterloo Street at 11.30am on December 11, with the vehicle provided by Saxilby-based The Car King.

There will be both men’s and women’s competitions with the £15 entry fees being donated to the Lincoln Corps of the Salvation Army – enter the fundraising competition here or by emailing Dave at [email protected].

Donate to the fundraiser for Dave’s December event here

The 41-year-old will also again be raising money to go towards the bucket list of terminally ill Joshua, who turns 22 on November 30. He was born with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which affects growth, causes mental deficiencies and can be associated with heart defects.

Joshua has a rare genetic condition which has left him with terminal heart issues.

The Lincolnshire community has pulled together to do all it can to help Joshua and over £1,700 has been raised.

Dave wants to help raise even more funds for the youngster and his friend Jonathan Koston, who is also Joshua’s uncle, will compete in the charity challenge with him – donate to the fundraiser for the charity event here.

Dave, who plans to wear festive clothing for the charity challenge, told The Lincolnite: “I don’t like the fact that people are given a limited time to live and Joshua has done nothing to harm anyone.

He is a genuinely cheerful person and I wanted to try and get more money for him so he can experience more of what he wants to do.”

Joshua’s mum Heather Bilton said: “We were completely overwhelmed with all Dave’s help and support. He’s kept in touch and often messages to ask after Joshua.

“Joshua wasn’t able to go to the truck pull event (in October) as he was poorly with COVID and he was so disappointed. But just over a week ago Dave said he was going to do another event, a car lift.

“Not only was the entry fee going to the Salvation Army which is amazing but he said he’d get sponsorship towards Joshuas bucket list fund. We have been completed floored by Dave and his kindness and support.

“He’s honestly an amazing and caring person and we are so grateful to him and the people who have supported him so far. We’d also like to thank Julie Heath for the huge donation she so kindly put in for Joshua”

Dave Johnson (right) and Joshua’s uncle Jonathan Koston (left) will take part in the charity challenge. | Photo: Steve Strongmanfan

Joshua’s uncle Jonathan Koston pictured taking part in a charity truck pull in July 2021. | Photo: Steve Strongmanfan

Raising money in memory of his friend Mark Browne is what motivates Dave to keep on going year after year.

He said: “I told Mark that I would carry on doing it in his memory and he would have wanted this to carry on for deserving causes. It is worth doing and gives me a reason to keep going to the gym and moving forward to help others.

“It keeps me motivated as I can keep his name involved. It is the right thing to do. Everybody is capable of doing something, but not everyone does. I’ve not got much money to donate, so will keep doing these challenges for good causes.”

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