Fund-raising first for club achieves impressive total

Morpeth Rotarians Rhona Dunn (president), Simon Foley, Tony Stubbs, Alan Clark and Jim Dunn by the Tree of Light.
Morpeth Rotarians Rhona Dunn (president), Simon Foley, Tony Stubbs, Alan Clark and Jim Dunn by the Tree of Light.

A festive initiative in Morpeth received strong support from members of the public.

Established by Morpeth Rotary Club president Rhona Dunn, the Tree of Light gave people the opportunity to sponsor a light at the facility in Sanderson Arcade in memory of loved ones.

A book was placed beside the tree to list those who donated and the people they commemorated.

In the region of £2,500 was raised and hopefully the club will be able to get Gift Aid on that amount, which will bring the total to about £3,000.

The money will be evenly split between the Great North Air Ambulance Service, Cancer Research North East and Barnabas Safe and Sound – the Arcade’s chosen charity for the year.

In addition, a Garden of Remembrance was set up next to the tree for children to place a light.

Mrs Dunn said: “I remember the first meeting I had with my group and we would have been happy with raising £500 in total, so we’re delighted with achieving such a wonderful amount.

“However, what has been more rewarding has been how people have responded. We received many positive comments such as ‘you have made my Christmas’ and the garden was also well received.

“Even if we had not made money, it would have been worthwhile as for a short period of time we were able to give people comfort.

“I am very appreciative of the money we received from our sponsors, which enabled us to donate all money that came in during the period.

“We really appreciated the help of Medi Parry and her team at Sanderson Arcade who put all the cards on for us and monitored our book of remembrance, as so many people came and asked if they could see the message they had put in and some took pictures to send to friends and relatives living in other places.

“We intend to do the tree again this year and hopefully it will make more money this time as it gets better known.”