Sidmouth Campaign 2010 fund reaches target

Thanks to Sidmouth folk for raising �36,044 for Campaign 2010

THAT’S the only word for it – and it is thanks to YOU!

In just nine months an amazing �36,044 has been raised for our Campaign 2010 appeal to help Sidmouth Living With Cancer’s mini-bus appeal – and the money keeps coming in.

An emotional Bill Lankester, who with wife Evelyn is the glue that holds the group together, told the audience at Friday’s Variety Night – organised by SLWC member Shirley Ratcliffe: “The whole town has done it. We have reached our target. I want to thank everyone who made donations and the Sidmouth Herald. We would never have raised so much in such a short time without their help.

“From a youngster who gave his pocket money to �5,000 from the Keith Owen Fund, I never dreamed people would be so kind, generous and supportive.”

Many of the 97 members of SLWC support group have put in a massive effort to help fundraise at more than 100 events, from coffee mornings and Beetle drives to a huge car boot sale – in the rain – to Shirley’s fantastic two-night Variety show.

He and Evelyn said Campaign 2010 has really put the home-grown charity on the map.

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“Every day something crops up,” she said. “People are asking what we are about, it has given the group a much higher profile.”

“This town is just unbelievable,” added Bill. “In these hard times the generosity of people has been wonderful.

“I would love to take everyone out for a ride when we get the mini-bus – hopefully in January – but instead we are organising a May Day bank holiday picnic in Blackmore Gardens as a thank you to the town.

“People are making cakes for us and we want people to bring a picnic and we hope to have entertainment.”

The group has a list of 14 volunteer drivers for the bus – currently being adapted by GM Coachwork of Newton Abbot – and Jackie Taylor will organise bookings. The bus will be used by other community groups as well as SLWC.

The campaign has been rewarding on a deeper level for SLWC members.

Bill said: “It has done a lot of good to our members in the form of therapy, and has given them a purpose to do something.”

“It has brought a lot of people closer together within the group, because they are all working together for a cause,” added Evelyn.

First to ride in the bus next year will be SLWC members, promised Bill.

*Latest to fundraise for the group is the Rotary Club of Sidmouth, who held a Swimathon on Saturday night. Money raised through this and Shirley’s Variety Show, will help towards fuel and running costs of the mini-bus.