Christmas is a time for giving and celebration and often provides a great opportunity for charities to benefit from peoples generosity. One Branch of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research that really made the most of the seasons good will was the Leicester & Rutland Branch. Each year local village Burton Overy hold an annual Christmas tree festival which attracts a great amount of local support. Every year the festival choose one local charity to benefit from the celebration and in 2012 they chose to support The Leicester & Rutland Branch of LLR. The Branch was invited to enter a tree, which would take pride of place in the church, and was also offered a free stall in the village hall. The Branch were thrilled to receive such support and worked hard to ensure that they maximised this opportunity not only for fundraising but to raise awareness locally too.
A local business (County Display Leicester Ltd) kindly designed and made a very striking and unusual tree, free of charge. The tree consisted of plywood, in branches, with lighting in the ‘trunk’ of the tree, and red baubles hanging from each branch. The branch members then bought red stars– Christmas gift tags! – and invited the visitors to the festival to write the names on the stars of any loved ones affected by a blood cancer, or just anyone they were thinking of during the Festive period. The stars were then hung on the tree, and after the Festival the stars were transferred to the altar of the church where prayers were said for them over the Christmas period. Quite a poignant addition to the proceedings.
The festival brought an opportunity for a number of local Branches to work together to maximise potential and make the festival a truly Leicestershire led event. Leicester & Rutland had support from The ladies of Lutterworth and the Hinckley and Bosworth Branch.
The Branch also organised a Teddy Tombola which was a great success, the Lutterworth Branch kindly supplied a few bags of teddies and the stall raised £578, the collection tin beside the tree totalled £552 and the festival committee sent a cheque of £1636 which was their proceeds from teas, raffle and entrance money.
Altogether a total of £2,766 was made from the event! A huge well done to the Leicester & Rutland Branch for their hard work and continued commitment to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, we are extremely grateful for your support!