Rotary tree raised record £11,000 sum

Malvern Gazette: TREE OF LIGHTS: Tribute to loved ones TREE OF LIGHTS: Tribute to loved ones

A RECORD-breaking year for Malvern Rotary Club’s Tree of Light means the festive fund-raising initiative has now raised more than £100,000 for good causes.

Organisers said this year’s donations totalled a bestever £11,655, more than £1,000 up on the previous record of £10,640 which was set in 2012.

Each year, Rotarians in Malvern string a 100ft conifer tree in Priory Park, Great Malvern, with lights and invite people to dedicate one to the memory of a loved one in exchange for a donation to charity.

A total of 497 personal pledges were made this year, another new record, and the bumper success means the campaign has raised a total of £100,155 since it was first run in 2003. Even in its first year, the campaign was an instant hit, raising just under £4,000.

But Malvern Rotary spokesman Sandy Gibson the club could never have imagined support could swell to the level it has.

“The Tree of Light was launched as a symbol of remembrance of relatives and friends no longer with us,” he said. “Despite the squeeze on incomes, we are delighted to report a leap in proceeds this year and we now see a total since inception of more than £100,000, thanks to those who find this memorial relevant to the spirit of the season.”

The tree will remain lit every evening until Twelfth Night, January 5, and after the campaign’s conclusion the proceeds will be distributed to good causes.

Macmillan Cancer Support, Acorns Children’s Hospice and Midlands Air Ambulance will each receive 30 per cent, with the final 10 per cent split between other Rotary causes.

Malvern Rotary president Mick Wasley said: “I am pleased to report that this year more people than ever have chosen to mark their remembrance of relatives and friends by subscribing to the Tree of Light.

“We wish to thank the individual and commercial sponsors who have made this possible.

“As always the assistance of Malvern Hills District Council, Malvern Theatres and, most particularly, the Malvern Gazette, has been an essential ingredient.”

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