THE FAMILY of a loving father who was taken from them far too soon will be 'doing it for Dan' as they continue to raise funds in his memory.

Dan Dench was just 35 when he died in March 2013 from SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy), leaving behind a wife and two young daughters.

Following their tragic loss, the family have set about raising funds in Dan's memory to help raise awareness of epilepsy and SUDEP.

They have raised more than £36,000 for Epilepsy Action, SUDEP Action and, more recently, Support Dogs.

The family decided 18 months ago that they would take on the challenge of raising £18,000 specifically for Support Dogs to cover the total cost of training a seizure alert dog.

Dan's mum Sally said: "Once trained these dogs can give up to a 50 minute warning that their owner is going to have a seizure, therefore allowing the owner to seek help and get to a place of safety.

"They can totally transform the life of someone living with Epilepsy on a daily basis and can potentially save lives."

To help raise funds the family is holding a Country and Western style Hoedown fundraising event on Saturday, February 18 at the Weymouth Pavilion Ocean Room in what will be their biggest fundraiser yet.

The event will start with a family fun day running from 10am to 4pm with a host of entertainment including performances from Razzamatazz Weymouth, Holy Trinity School Choir, Weymouth and Dorchester Stagecoach, WOW and The Deans Singing Academy.

During the day there will also be craft stalls, vintage clothing, a build a bear stand, rodeo bull, soft play and much more.

There will be two raffles with a host of prizes including a top prize of family camping and entry for six to Camp Bestival and tickets to see Robbie Williams in Southampton.

Entry to the daytime event will cost £1 for adults with accompanied children going free.

Sally said: "We would love for as many people as possible to come along and make this a huge success for Support Dogs and the wonderful work they do, training dogs to transform lives.

"It’s also set to a really fun and jam packed day for all the family."

During the evening there will be a Hoedown featuring a Dolly Parton tribute act, Stereoironics and The Jolly Boys Outing.

This event has been a sell-out, with more than 200 tickets sold.

The family said they want to thank everyone who has supported the event including main sponsors Dorchester Stagecoach, all the performers, Hays Travel, Statue Insurance, Dan Roads Photography, 109 Watersports, Bay Fencing and Landscaping, Tesco on Portland, Morrison in Weymouth and many more.

Sally said: "We feel as a family this is the most proactive thing we can in memory of Dan and are confident this is how Dan would like to remembered, we like to call it ‘doing it for Dan’."