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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 February 2006, 14:38 GMT
Zeta tribute to 1m charity woman
Margaret Thrush
Margaret Thrush displays her signed photograph of Zeta Jones
A street collector from Mumbles who has raised more than 1m for charity over 50 years has received a tribute from fellow townswoman Catherine Zeta Jones.

The Hollywood actress sent a letter of appreciation and a signed photograph to Margaret Thrush at a party thrown to celebrate her tireless work.

Zeta Jones grew up seeing Ms Thrush, 64, out collecting on streets or in pubs in the south Wales seaside town.

Local people organised a surprise party to thank her for long-term efforts.

They have also started a campaign to see her work recognised with an MBE.

Ms Thrush can regularly be seen with her collecting box whatever the weather, wearing her trademark orange sombrero and matching shorts.

Despite being attacked by a gang of youths a few years ago, it did not deter her from continuing her collections, which have benefited dozens of charities over the years.

She began collecting at the age of 14.

Over 300 people attended the surprise thank-you party, including Swansea city footballers, Welsh rugby stars, local police chiefs and a couple of High Court judges.

Catherine Zeta Jones
To raise a million pounds on your own is an amazing feat
Zeta Jones' spokeswoman

Some travelled hundreds of miles to attend the event.

Party organiser Jenny said: "There is no one quite like her - she doesn't have much herself but she has raised a million pounds over the last 50 years.

"Everyone wanted to say thanks - she is one in a million."

A spokeswoman for Catherine Zeta Jones said: "Catherine remembers seeing Margaret out on her charity rounds and it left an impression on her.

"She is a local legend - to raise a million pounds on your own is an amazing feat."





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