The Kenton Theatre has been crowned the official charity partner for the newly launched Ace Henley playing cards. 25p from every pack sold via the Ace Henley website will be donated to the iconic theatre on New Street to go towards their new website.
The Kenton Theatre is the fourth oldest working theatre in the UK, dating back to 1805.
Lottie Pheasant, recently promoted to Theatre Manager said “We’re delighted to have been selected as the charity partner for Ace Henley playing cards. It’s been an exciting project to watch unfold, from the conception of the idea to the finished cards. We’re hoping that the support received from Ace Henley will help us to develop our website and make the theatre more visible, not just as a landmark in Henley, but online too.”
The Henley playing cards launched on the 9 March at the Old Fire Station Gallery and the Kenton Theatre holds the Queen of Spades card. Emma Sweet, leader of the pack said “During the four launch days, over £600 was raised and I’ve been keen to find a long-term charity to partner with for the rest of 2023. The Kenton is a very fitting choice as it’s an important landmark in the town as well as being part of the pack.”
“All those who retail the cards will be offered the choice to add 25p per pack onto their orders and all of the money will be passed onto the Kenton but it’s not mandatory. Those retailing the cards have really got behind them and it’s been brilliant getting to know those businesses better and the folk running them. The cards have really captured people’s imaginations and those who sponsor a card have a vested interest in selling the cards though selling the cards is optional as there’s a quite variety of businesses involved.”
The launch of the Henley playing cards were supported by the Henley branch of the Women’s Institute and Timothy Dodd-Wilson’s Big Duck Lilly. On the Monday before the launch, two playing card-themed post box toppers appeared in Market Place and Hart Street thanks to the nimble fingers of Alison Engleby and Louise Sadler. 25p from packs of cards sold at the weekend launch events were donated to the Henley WI in the form of Hobbycraft vouchers to fund future post box toppers in the town.
Big Duck Lilly made her first appearance on dry land in Henley at the Saturday launch event outside the Old Fire Station Gallery to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. 25p from every pack sold on the Thursday and Friday launch events was donated as well as donations from those attending the launch. Tim also held a silent auction for the super-sized print of his card which was signed by the illustrator Nicola Metcalfe, who lives in Marlow Bottom, and framed. The final bid was £190.
The Henley on Thames super-sized reverse card was also auctioned off and raised £105 for the Henley Rotary Club to donate the money to the Turkey and Syria earthquake disaster appeal. £75 was from the signed version, bought by Fi Harding from the Henley Youth Choir, and £5 from each unsigned framed print that was ordered at the events was also donated.
Emma Sweet said “It was great to be able to support three very different charities. These cards are a celebration of what makes Henley great and the work of those involved to help at the launch proves that.”
In total, £388.25 was donated to Macmillan Cancer Support, £117.79 went to the Henley Rotary Club and £96 was donated to the Henley WI to cover their costs and included a Hobbycraft voucher. In total £602.04 was raised and donated to the three charities.