The Rotary Telford Tree of Light held its presentation evening, hosted by Rotary Club of Ironbridge President Ian Warburton at the Park House Hotel, Shifnal, on Thursday 28th February. This year the Rotary Telford Tree of Light, which is run by the Rotary Clubs of Ironbridge, Telford Centre, The Wrekin and Wellington celebrated its 23rd campaign.
Chair of the Telford Tree of Light organising committee, Rotarian Max Clowes, said, “We are delighted to announce that this evening the Telford Tree of Light will distribute £42,000 to local charities.”
Max went on to welcome Reverend Paul Firmin, formally of Shrewsbury Abbey, who brought the concept of a Tree of Light to Shropshire in the 1990s. He recalled how he found out about Trees of Light in South Africa when a colleague handed him a small piece of paper on which a remembered name was written. Trees of Light are now found not just across Shropshire but across the UK. Paul said, “One small slip of paper, One giant Tree for mankind.”
Incoming Chair of the Trustees of the Rotary Clubs of Telford & Wrekin Trust Fund, Rotarian Peter Seaward, under whose auspices the Tree of Light operates said, “Once again the Tree has raised a huge amount for charity.” He continued, “The whole operation can only function with the voluntary efforts of Rotarians from each of the four clubs. The full cost of the appeal is met by the business community, other organisations and the Rotary Clubs themselves. This means that the entire amount donated by the public is distributed to the good causes.”
The names of those remembered are displayed around the Tree of Light in Telford Shopping Centre, in Wellington Dawley, Madeley, Ironbridge and Oakengates. The names are also published in the Telford Journal and on the Tree of Light website.
Since 2001 the Severn Hospice has received half of the funds donated with the remainder donated to charities that serve the people of Telford. Representatives of the charities nominated by the four Rotary Clubs received their donations and thanked the Tree of Light for their support. President Ian Warburton of the Ironbridge Club gave a cheque for £2625 to Edward Dugdale of Tickwood Care Farm; President Alan Baguley of the Rotary Club of Telford Centre presented a cheque for £2625 to Laura Thorogood of Telford & Wrekin Young Carers Respite: President Anne De Vere of the Rotary Club of the Wrekin gave a donation of £2625 to Kevin Wynn of Club 2000 and Rotary Wellington President Peter Williams presented £2625 to Andrew Foster and Vicki Stones of Wellington Theatre Company Youth Project.
25% of the funds raised are now presented to a second charity agreed by all the four Rotary Clubs. Mac Clowes together with the four Presidents presented a cheque for £10,500 to Naomi Atkin of the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund. Finally Chairman of the Tree of Light Committee, Max Clowes, presented £21,000 to Norma Ross of Severn Hospice.
In conclusion Max said, “The success of the Rotary Telford Tree of Light has only been made possible thanks to the wonderful generosity of the people of Telford who donate to The Tree of Light to remember their loved ones at Christmas time. The very successful 2018 campaign is now over. Our team is already busy preparing for the 24th year of the Rotary Telford Tree of Light.”