Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Fireworks night raises thousands for hospice

THOUSANDS of people attended this year?s bonfire and fireworks display at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed.

THOUSANDS of people attended this year?s bonfire and fireworks display at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed.

Click here to view our photo gallery of the event

The 21st annual event, which is organised by the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge, featured a children?s fancy dress parade for around 100 youngsters in Halloween costumes.

The ghost and ghoul outfits were judged by a team comprising Rotary club president Mike Pooley, Henley Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak, who is also a member of the club, and Pam Chatfield, palliative care services manager at the hospice.

The under-fives parade category was won by three-year-old Olivia Baroni, from Emmer Green, who was dressed as a cat.

Olivia?s mother Rina said: ?We come every year and made Olivia?s costume from various things we could find. Her brother Luca was a runner-up here once before.?

Mitchell Foster won the six and over category with his mummy?s outfit. The nine-year-old from Kidlington had wrapped himself in bandages and put some spooky facepaint around his eyes.

?It?s great to win,? he said. ?It took me about an hour to wrap myself up in these bandages. I was going to use toilet paper but it would have broken too easily.?

The runners-up were Millie and Sophia Hughes, from Henley, who were dressed as a corpse bride and groom. The two winners were presented with a certificate and £10 and the runners-up each received £5.

After the parade, the bonfire was lit and the 20-minute fireworks display got under way watched by families crowded into the viewing area.

The evening also featured a performance from Tilehurst steel band Fiesta while Sue Ryder volunteers sold glow-in-the dark hats and glowsticks.

Mr Pooley cut a 21st birthday cake with the Mayor and fireworks co-ordinator Nicola Emms. He said: ?It was the best night in 21 years.?

The event, which was sponsored by Invesco Perpetual, raised about £16,000 for the hospice.

Moira Logie, regional fund-raiser for Sue Ryder, said: ?It was lovely seeing all the children dressed up and some of the parents too. It was a real family event. We want to thank everyone who came along and also our volunteers who did all sorts of jobs to make sure this was a wonderful event.?

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