David Stokes writes:
A massive thank you Hadleigh for your tremendous generosity this year. The total of £2,063.97 was the highest figure for at least 30 years, and is probably a record, especially as the sum was boosted by a final donation of £50. The record for a one night collection was also broken this year with a figure of £363.39 while the addition of a new route in the Weavers Meadow area boosted takings and, perhaps more importantly, enabled Father Christmas to see many more children. The total house-to-house collection was £1,291.12 while two days at Morrisons car park produced £772.85, a 50% increase on last year. The float received a warm welcome wherever it went, and Father Christmas was kept very busy seeing a large number of children.
Of course, this event does not just happen and in addition to club members, its success is down to a small band of friends of Rotary who come out to help each year. A big thank you goes to them: first, the men in red - Richard Whiting, John Robinson and Brian Strutt; the additional collectors - George Wyatt, Colin Brown, Harry Wilkinson, Simon and Kerrie Carter, and Carole Burne. Towing duties were shared by Gary Hambling of Hambling Utility Services and Simon Foster of Crockatt Garage. Hadleigh Bowling Club kindly allowed the float to be kept at the green during the collection period which is so convenient, while Martin Pratt keeps it safe at his farm for the rest of the year. Many thanks to them, while a special thank you is due to George Wyatt, Colin Brown and Richard Westwell for helping with repairs to the float and upgrading the sound and lighting systems.
The funds are being distributed among the following charities:
Suffolk Accident Rescue
Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance
Hadleigh Elderly Peoples' Welfare Committee
Arthur Gale Trust Apprenticing Foundation (supporting apprentice schemes in Hadleigh)
Elmsett Primary School PTA (improvements to outdoor play area)
Hadleigh British Legion 1st World War Memorial Fund