THE TRAILER, THE SLEIGH, AND THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY, WITH A BUNCH OF ROTARIANS
During 2022, with the help of our County Councillors and funding from the , Rotary Newton Aycliffe bought a trailer, and it was a natural progression to then make the decision to have a new Santa Sleigh. We managed to acquire sponsorship from Alan Strickland, , Homeplan, Meridian and James Burrells and with the amazing talents of Rotarian Brian Winwood, the sleigh was built.
The new sleigh began its maiden journey at the Town Centre Christmas Lights Switch On with Santa, Mrs Claus and Little Elf at the end of November. Paul Howarth of invited us to be present and the Town Centre Management gave us 500 selection boxes to give to children who visited the sleigh. The queue snaked round the shops for hours. It was extremely cold but dry and we survived.
The 3rd of December saw the results of our Reverse Advent Box Collection with donations from many sources including Rotarians, members of the public, businesses, and organisations. The boxes have since been distributed to foodbanks throughout the local area.
Then it was on to the Santa Street Tours. For 8 nights, our volunteers, several of them non-Rotarians, gave up their time to visit as many places as possible in Newton Aycliffe and surrounding areas with Santa and his Sleigh even though some nights, temperatures were below freezing.
Again, we worked hard to achieve support with great results. Our main sponsor for the Santa Tours was Paul Stewart, a fellow Rotarian at Darlington Club and Managing Director of . Our street route sponsors were ., , , . and . The Grinch attended the final Street Tour on Tuesday 20th December, along with Santa and Paul Stewart so we finished with a great finale.
And there is more. Santa and his helpers had, by Thursday 22nd December, completed a weeklong bucket collection in Tesco with most days working in two-hour shifts from 10am until 6pm. Our instore sponsor was BTS Facades & Fabrications, Aycliffe Business Park and our thanks go to them for their support with the possibility that we may build on our relationship with the company in the future. Many thanks to and Tesco management and staff for allowing us into the store.
Our grateful thanks to the public for all your amazing donations which, when added to sponsorship deals, will enable us to continue our work, and be assured, it will be spent locally in the community we all love. In Christmas week alone, we received a donation of 40 selection boxes which have found good homes, handed 19 food vouchers to the Cancer Care Group and 60 food vouchers to the health visitors, each voucher enough for a family Christmas Dinner and some extra treats. Many more charities, families and individuals will benefit from the hard work of Rotary Newton Aycliffe. All in all, a hugely successful Christmas fundraising effort and we Rotarians who have worked so hard, are now hibernating in a darkened room.
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During 2022, with the help of our County Councillors and funding from the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership - GAMP, Rotary Newton Aycliffe bought a trailer, and it was a natural progression to then make the decision to have a new Santa Sleigh.more