Santa’s sleigh is a festive fundraiser

11 Jan 2023 10:30
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WESTHOUGHTON Rotary Club has praised the community’s generosity after its traditional Christmas sleigh tour raised £5,640 for good causes over the festive season.
Braving the freezing temperatures, Rotary Father Christmas and his elves took to the streets and received a warm welcome wherever they travelled.
The money raised goes to support local charities and Rotary community projects throughout the year and club member Ron Bell said: “For many people, Christmas only starts when the Rotary sleigh comes round and the response was, as always, wonderful.
“This year for the first time, we had a tracker on the sleigh, so people could check on their mobiles when we were on our way, which was particularly appreciated in the bitterly cold weather.”
He added: “The sleigh has been running for more than 40 years, so we’re always thrilled – but not surprised – when we hear from grandparents that they remember the sleigh coming round when they were little. For the third year running, we were delighted that Rotary Father Christmas could record a special Christmas message, which was viewed well over 10,000 times. We really felt the excitement building over the Christmas season.”
Plans are already underway for this Christmas’ sleigh tour and the club will present local charities with cheques from the money raised in 2022 at a special dinner in the spring.
Stuart Bailey, Westhoughton Rotary president, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the money we have raised this year.
“Local people always enthusiastically get involved with the tradition of the Rotary sleigh and the fact that they have been so generous in these tough times is absolutely fantastic. I would like to say thank you to each and every one of them.
“My special thanks also go to James Booth (Bolton) Ltd and to Bolton Kia for their invaluable support, as well as to all our volunteers. Without them, we simply wouldn’t be able to make the sleigh happen each year.”

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