The Living Advent Calendar broke it’s previous fundraising record by over £1,500 on Christmas Eve with a record night’s total too.
As is tradition, the last night is at St Mary’s Church, with the choir from St Mary’s leading Christmas carols – Once in Royal David City, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Come All Ye Faithful, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Hark the Herald and Away in a Manager. Reverend Jeremy Tayler, welcomed the audience and later read Christmas by Sir John Betjeman.
The evening was raising money for the Mayor’s charities (Nomad, Mencap and Henley Music School) . Mayor, Councillor Ken Arlett said, “Thanks to Richard (Rodway) without whom this wouldn’t happen.” Richard thanked the sponsors, The Head Partnership, Philip Booth Esq, Henley Business Partnership, Blue Peak Accountancy and Henley Manor Care Home. He went on to thank his merry bank of elves who helped put on the event this year – Shirley Barton, Carolyn Molyneux, Neil Gunnell, Tom Ryan, Paula Price-Davies, Eva and Graham Rickett, Richard Young, David Eggleton and Hugh Legh. On saying Hugh’s name he added, “My right-hand elf. It’s Henley’s unlikeliest bromance! It’s been emotional!”
Afterwards, Richard said, “Thank you to everyone who joined us at St Mary’s Church for the finale to this year’s event, and for your spirit and enthusiasm across the month, which is what has ultimately makes the event so special. We are truly humbled by everyone’s efforts and generosity, helping us to raise a record night’s total of £731 for the Mayor’s charities and a making it a record breaking year of £7369.”
“I’m hugely pleased and proud. I’ve always said that it’s good to make money for good causes but that was never the reason for the event in the first place. It was just a fantastic by-product. But ultimately, when you know you are raising money for good causes, the final total is some indicator as to how much people enjoyed it. This year I went into it want to break our previous record of £5,800 and despite having some not great weather this year, it was a fantastic, very enjoyable month.”