THE SANTA CAUSES
EVENTS RAISE THOUSANDS FOR LOCAL CHARITIES
THE organisation behind bringing Father Christmas to the streets of Chesham and raising thousands for charity has thanked the community for their support.
The Rotary Club of Chesham organised the Christmas Float for the second year in a row, which saw Father Christmas visit dozens of streets in Chesham while collecting cash for local charities and organisations.
The club’s president David Unwin said: “We’ve been thrilled by the response from the people of Chesham and most especially the children of all ages whose enchantment was obvious on their faces at seeing either the sleigh or Father Christmas.
“A considerable amount of work was put into bringing the sleigh to you all, but we think it’s been well worthwhile and would’ve been impossible, but for the assistance of organisations like 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Chesham Scout Groups, Brushwood, Elmtree, Little Spring, Waterside, Thomas Harding PTAs, St Mary’s Pre-School, The Theatre Shed, Botley Playing Fields Association and Amersham and Chesham Lions Club all of whom, together with Chesham Rotary Club, provided teams to make the various collections advised in the Bucks Examiner and Your Chesham magazine.
“Special thanks go to Steve Hedges, Roger Miller, Jeremy Wyman and Martin Woolnough who’s help in towing the sleigh has been invaluable and also to Paul Green who, whilst not being a member of any of these groups, has assisted considerably using his knowledge of Chesham’s streets to guide the float, a job he has done for many years and long may he continue to do so.
“Our thanks also goes to Chesham’s mayor Peter Hudson who assisted during one of our street collections, Jenny Willment, Katherine Graves, Jean Pritchard and many others who assist by their support without necessarily presenting a high profile.”
He added: “Rain on some evenings did not deter the collecting teams or the children of Chesham and whilst the sight of drying cash in the kitchen of one of our members may have caused concern to the local police, all was well and the dried money accepted as genuine by our bankers. A big thank you is also due to Dial-a-Ride who on three evenings provided a mini bus to assist with transporting collectors, where the routes could not be circular.”
The club also ran Santa’s Grotto for one evening only during Christmas in Chesham at Costa Coffee in High Street where Father Christmas handed out chocolate coins to children, donated by Waitrose and Sainsbury’s
Father Christmas and his sleigh also visited Bank Farm’s Riding for the Disabled Christmas party where gifts were distributed to all the children, as well as Heritage House School in Cameron Road.
The Chesham Annual Christmas Float Appeal, which ran for more than 40 years, was suspended in 2013 due to the old float needing to be scrapped for safety reasons.
The Rotary Club did not want to see the float cancelled again so it took over running the venture and re-built the float, which had its first outing in 2014.
Mr Unwin added: “Being our second year organising the routes we may sometimes have been a little optimistic with the length and if this, together with poor weather, delayed the sleigh so that a route could not be completed before our deadline of 9pm we’re sorry and will try harder next year.
“Santa and the sleigh’s work having been completed they are resting before preparing for next year when we hope to do even better, especially if we can have a couple more volunteer tow vehicles and drivers.”
For more information about becoming a member of the Rotary Club call 01494 785 076 or email driftcottage733@gmail. com.