Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: Camil­la_Good­man

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.

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