A FUND-RAISING stalwart is appealing for car booters to help her raise funds for bears in need.
Cynthia Lubacz, who has organised weekly charity car boot sales in Leek for 18 years, hosts the animal charity focused events in the car park of Sainsbury's, Macclesfield Road.
She raises cash for a variety of animal charities, local, national and international.
For the car boot to be held on Sunday August 17, Cynthia is aiming to raise cash from pitch fees for About Animals Asia, a charity currently helping to keep 135 captured bears alive.
Cynthia explained: "All the car boot fees will be donated to the About Animals Asia's 'Peace By Piece' project to help a bear bile farm be turned into a bear sanctuary. A farmer has given up the site including the 135 bears and it has been taken on by the charity."
Cynthia moved her fund-raising car boots down to the Sainsbury's site earlier this year after running them at the former Co-operative Food Store in Buxton Road for 12 years.
The bargain hunters' event was at the former Co-op site off Brook Street prior to that, and at Safeways – now Morrisons – off Newcastle Road, before then. Cynthia added: "I am passionate about animals and I am very passionate about raising money for About Animals Asia.
"We have supported the charity over the years, but I think this latest appeal has quite an urgency about it.
"These bears would probably have been killed if it wasn't for this charity.
"I think it's a brilliant idea to turn the once bile farm into a sanctuary for these poor creatures."
Anyone wishing to have a car boot on Sunday, August 17, at the Sainsbury's car park in Leek, or any other Sunday, can just turn up from 7am.
Buyers are welcome from 7.30am and each of the weekly car boots run until midday.
To find out more about Cynthia's car boots and her on-going fund-raising work, call 01538 398566.
More than 10,000 bears – mainly moon bears, but also sun bears and brown bears – are kept on bile farms in China, and around 2,400 in Vietnam. The bears are milked regularly for their bile, which is used in traditional medicine.
Bile is extracted using various painful, invasive techniques, all of which cause infection. The practice continues despite a large number of herbal and synthetic alternatives. Most farmed bears are kept in tiny cages. In China, these are sometimes so small that the bears are unable to turn around or stand on all fours. Some bears are put into cages as cubs and never released. Bears may be kept caged like this for up to 30 years. Most farmed bears are starved, dehydrated and suffer from multiple diseases and malignant tumours that ultimately kill them.
To find out more on About Animals Asia, go online to www.animalsasia.org.