Christmas Market 2015
We participated fully in the annual Billericay Christmas Market organized so well by our sister club the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower. Our Grand Raffle and other fundraising raised over £2900.
The Rotary Club of Billericay participated once again in the Christmas market, giving full support to our colleagues at the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower who organise the event, putting huge efforts into making this a "MUST" event for the people of our town and the surrounding area.
As our local paper, the Billericay Gazette reported, "It was Bigger and Better than ever, with 20,000 visitors, £30,000 raised and Traders reporting bumper sales".
We were promoting our own major forthcoming event - the Soapbox Derby taking place in May 2016, offering Programs for sale and displaying two soapbox entrants to pique the interest. Many passers-by stopped to ask about the event and vowed to participate, or to attend on the day as spectators.
There was live music throughout the day at our Gluhwein tent, back by popular demand with the original recipe, and very popular at the colder or wetter times of the day with the public, raising over £1700 for charity (see below). And once again, our regular ShelterBox display to demonstrate how well this charity meets the needs of homeless in disaster areas.
We also had a Grand Christmas Raffle for which the major prizes included a 27 gear Mountain bike, a case of over 12 bottles of quality wine, a HUGE Christmas Hamper, and other major prizes, raising over £1200 for our chosen charities of Rotary's End Polio Campaign, Shelterbox and other charities supported by Rotary. All the prizes were donated by club members.
The weather wasn't as bad as was feared and apart from a brief interlude of drizzle, it was very kind to us.
Our Billericay School Interact Club was present again with over a dozen members coming along to help sell the tickets and were a great help to us all.
And this year for the first time, the youngsters from our Quilters Junior School RotaKids club were also there with their teacher Helen Kilby and Headmaster Michael Wade, to help out. They had great time selling Raffle Tickets.
The event itself featured a free Santa’s Grotto and the usual traditional Santa’s Parade led by our Town Crier Jim Shrubb and a pipe band in the morning, with a Santa Claus sleigh provided by neighbouring Brentwood Rotary Club for the first time, and, for the children, a funfair in the main car park and other entertainments. Plus, of course, live entertainment on the stages, Morris Dancers in the High Street, and several appearances of a "Flash Mob" to surprise and delight the public. Craft stalls in the Library, and lots of traditional Christmas Fayre, Hog roasts and mulled wine.
Many of Billericay's shops, restaurants and outlets were open for the day, to add to the spirit of the day - there was a really great atmosphere.
Our thanks go to all the members who braved the weather to participate during the day, but particularly to Malcolm Acors and his family who manned the Gluhwein Tent, arranged the appearance of the music, and printed all the Raffle Tickets and “Point of Sale” promotion material and donated them to the Club. Also, Roger Kettle who was our main liaison with Mayflower on our participation and worked tirlessly throughout the day as one of the Zone Managers of the event. Our thanks to Patrick Rothon who provided the transport, loaded all the display material, organised the erection of the Marquee and then after a long stint on the street during the day, dismantled the display material/marquee and put everything back in the warehouse. And finally, to all the members who did stints on our stands or selling the raffle tickets, and particularly to James, Mike Sinclair, Ed, Peter and Malcolm who stayed throughout the day making a significant contribution to the money raised.