On Thursday 14th November at around 16.30 a crowded Mall at Telford Centre filled by the sounds of the Salvation Army Band waited patiently for the Rotary Telford Tree of Light to be switched on. But this year was different. The Tree was at a new site - in New Row in the recently completed Fashion Quarter. It was a New Tree, generously provided by Telford Shopping Centre. There was also a New Display Pod funded by local business sponsors.
Chairman of the Tree of Light 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, “ Our work would not be possible without the corporate and private sponsors who’s financial support ensures that every penny donated to remember a name around the tree goes to our local charities. I would particularly like to mention Telford Shopping Centre for providing this wonderful new tree and it’s surroundings and Telford Journal for publishing all the names of those to be remembered. The names of all our corporate sponsors are shown on the banners around the tree and can be found on our website.”
Telford Rotarians have been busy for the past two weeks opening and processing dedications sent in by the Telford Community to remember their loved ones at Christmastime. At the switch-on there were over 2400 names around the Tree from the first 1000 application forms received and we will continue to add names each week right up to Christmas. Batches of names will be printed in the Telford Journal from next week,
Max then introduced Norma Ross, Director of Income Generation for the Severn Hospice. Norma said, “ On behalf of Severn Hospice and all the Charities supported by the Rotary Telford Tree of Light I would like to thank everyone involved in this project.” Norma then cut the opening ribbon for this the New Tree of Light and in doing so switched on the Rotary Telford Tree of Light 2019.
The Tree will remain lit until after Christmas. Rotarians will be on hand around the Tree from now until Christmas to give out and receive application forms, to give information about the Tree and to answer queries.