Memories of loved ones live on as tree lights up

Malvern Gazette: HIT THE BUTTON: From left, Mandie Fitzgerald of Acorns Children’s Hospice, Annie Newell, Hilary Al Rasheed of Macmillan Cancer Support and Malvern Rotary president Mick Walsley. Picture by Nick Toogood.      	 4913465001. HIT THE BUTTON: From left, Mandie Fitzgerald of Acorns Children’s Hospice, Annie Newell, Hilary Al Rasheed of Macmillan Cancer Support and Malvern Rotary president Mick Walsley. Picture by Nick Toogood. 4913465001.

SHINING lights are brightening the night sky in Malvern in memory of lost loved ones.

A large crowd braved the cold on Monday for the switch-on of Malvern Rotary Club’s Tree of Light in Priory Park, Great Malvern.

The annual campaign, which has raised almost £100,000 for good causes over the last decade, invites people to dedicate a light on a 100ft conifer tree to the memory of an absent loved one in exchange for a donation to charity.

The main beneficiaries this year are Midlands Air Ambulance, Macmillan Cancer Support and Acorns Children’s Hospice. With hopes that donations this year will break the £10,000 barrier, representatives from each charity were presented with provisional cheques for £2,750.

Before the tree was lit, Malvern Rotary president Mick Walsey welcomed everyone in attendance and thanked all the organisations which have supported the campaign, including Malv-ern Hills District Council, Malvern Theatres and the Malvern Gazette.

The tree was given an official blessing by Rotarian Rev Roger Watson. Annie Newell, fund-raising manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, was then given the honour of switching on the lights. Malvern Rotary spokesman Sandy Gibson was delighted with another successful switch-on ceremony.

“As always the feeling of cold was kept at bay by the warmth of the music played by Malvern Chase Brass Band,” he added.

Lists of lives remembered and their sponsors are on display at Malvern Theatres, in Grange Road, and at malvernrotaryclub.org. They will also be displayed at malverngazette.co.uk and printed in your Malvern Gazette over the festive period. The tree will remain lit every evening until Twelfth Night, January 5.

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