After mountains and skydiving, John to try long-distance cycling
A BRISTOL singer is again taking up a fundraising challenge to raise money for Help for Heroes.
Last year, 54-year-old John Billitteri trekked for seven days to reach the 5,895m (19,341ft) summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – but he fell short of reaching it by just 200m (656ft) when exhaustion took hold and prevented him from walking a single step further.
Despite falling just short of reaching Africa's highest peak, Mr Billitteri later took part in a tandem skydive – the two events bringing his fundraising total to £44,000.
Now he is again raising money for the ex-servicemen's charity, this time by riding his bike from Bristol to London.
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The ride is part of the 2013 Hero Ride, recently launched by Prime Minister David Cameron, which aims to raise at least £1 million for Help for Heroes.
The charity aims to make its presence known in London on Sunday, June 2, when thousands of cyclists, who will have ridden their bikes from all corners of the country and from abroad, will meet at Blackheath and cycle together in a staged mass ride into central London.
Mr Billitteri, from Kingswood, will cycle from Bristol to the charity's headquarters at Tedworth House in Salisbury, and ride 90 miles to Blackheath, where he will join the other riders.
He said: "I am now in training for the ride, and am planning to promote it all around Bristol.
"I'm also planning a ride from Bristol to Weston-super-Mare to raise some extra funds.
"A lot of people know me in the city and I hope they will support me in my next challenge."
Mr Billitteri first started supporting Help for Heroes four years ago after his daughter Marisa sang on the number one single Hero for the cause while a finalist in television talent show The X Factor in 2008.
Since then he has hosted and performed in dozens of fundraising gigs across the city under his stage name Frankie Johns.
Anyone who would like to find out more, or would like to sponsor Mr Billitteri, can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.