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Rotary Santa helps boost charity coffers

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 22, 2013

By ROB SMYTH

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MORE than £12,000 has been raised for three charities by hard working members of Rotary clubs.

The Ashby Rotary Clubs raised the amazing sum during the festive season as Santa took to the streets to meet children and raise money for three charities.

Cheques for £4000 were handed to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, the Robbie Anderson Cancer Trust and Donisthorpe Scout Group as a result of the fund-raising.

A spokesman for the clubs told the Mail: “It may have be cold, wet and tiring but it is the magic of the occasion that keeps Rotarians, their families and helpers from Netherseal Young Farmers and Ivanhoe Running Club doing the sleigh runs year after year, although the routes get longer each time.” Last year, the sleighs were fitted with GPS trackers allowing viewers to follow Santa on his journeys.

Nearly 200 miles were covered by the sleighs and even more on foot by the collectors from Ashby Castle, Ashby Hastings and Ashby Rotary Clubs.

Katie Baxter, receiving the cash on behalf of Rainbows, said that the money would allow the hospice to provide even more facilities in their new state-of-the-art buildings in Loughborough.

She said: “An important part of our work is the help and support we give to parents of terminally ill children and this will help with that.”

Despite the recession and some atrocious weather, collectors found people in the area to be more generous than ever as the total given was more than 10 per cent higher than last year.

Lyndsey Hill, of the Donisthorpe Scout Group, said: “The community facilities were very limited in the village and the group had been fund-raising to upgrade the scout hall.

“The donation will allow them to install a new heating system.”

Kevin Anderson, of the Robbie Anderson Cancer Trust, said: “The donation will be a tremendous help to provide an age appropriate cancer facility at Leicester Royal Infirmary where all children are treated.”

More than £250,000 has been raised for children’s charities since the Rotary Santas took to the streets of the area since 1975.

Forty trips with two sleighs were made during the Christmas period.

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