A crowded Mall at Telford Town Centre filled by the sounds of the Salvation Army Band heralded the arrival of Jo Jesmond of Free Radio who was to switch-on the 2017 Telford Tree of Light. Chairman of the organising committee, Max Clowes, welcomed representatives of the charities supported by this year's Tree, the Tree's sponsors, the Presidents of the four organising Rotary Clubs and many of those whose families' names appear around the Tree. Max said, "The Telford Tree of Light would not be possible without the support of the four Rotary Clubs of Telford and the many corporate sponsors who contribute so that every penny donated in memory of a loved one can be passed to the nominated charities. This together with the wonderful generosity of the people of Telford helps to make the Tree a great success."
Max then welcomed and introduced Jo Jesmond, before asking her to Switch-on this year's Tree. With the warmth of her smile and personality filling the area around the Tree she spoke of the importance of remembering loved ones, especially at Christmas time. Then following a traditional count-down she switched on the 2017 Telford Tree of Light.
In addition to the opportunity to commemorate the names of loved ones, applicants are requested to donate a minimum of £5 per name to local charities. This year Severn Hospice will be supported with half of the amount donated by the public and the Lingen Davis Cancer Care Trust supported with 25% of the funds donated. The remaining 25% will be shared between Telford Young Carers:Respite - nominated by the Rotary Club of Telford Centre: Tickwood Care Farm - nominated by the Rotary Club of Ironbridge; Club 2000 - nominated by the Rotary Club of The Wrekin and Wellington Theatre Company: Youth Section - nominated by the Rotary Club of Wellington.
Trustee Rotarian Peter Seaward of the Rotary Clubs of Telford & Wrekin Trust Fund, under whose auspices the Tree of Light operates said, “Last year was an exceptional year. The Rotary Telford Tree of Light was presented with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and it raised a record amount for charity.” He continued, “So far this year the Rotary Telford Tree of Light remembers over 3000 loved ones and has raised over £23,000. Thank you Telford!”