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Published: Friday, 15th January 2021

The Rotary Trees of Light in Leamington and Whitnash have surpassed their fundraising expectations by raising £13,500 for Myton Hospice over the Christmas period.

With the Christmas light switch-on events cancelled, Warwick District Council worked closely with The Rotary Club of Royal Leamington Spa to ensure that the Trees of Light still obtained the support and focus that they usually received during the Christmas season.

Alongside the Rotary Club’s prolific campaign through social media and support from the local Courier newspapers, the Council was able to feature the Tree of Light as part of its virtual Christmas light switch-on event, “Light Up the District”.

The event, which was viewed by over 1,600 residents live and has since been viewed over 40,000 times on Facebook and YouTube, featured a segment in which Father Christmas introduced the Tree of Lights campaign and told of the importance of supporting this initiative for The Myton Hospices.

Details of the campaign were also displayed on the screen during the live stream, with viewers able to see the tree outside Leamington Town Hall switched-on live.

The Tree of Light allows local people to remember loved ones they have lost with special messages attached to the tree, with the donations providing much-needed funding for the invaluable work of The Myton Hospices.

The funds raised in 2020 mean that, since it was first established 20 years ago, the Tree of Light campaign has raised a total of £88,000 for The Myton Hospices.

Councillor Richard Hales, Portfolio Holder for Business and Finance, said: “The Tree of Light is always an important part of our Christmas light switch-on events, and the virtual event was no exception.

“The live event was able to unify our residents across the District after such a difficult year and bring them together, albeit in a virtual way, to enjoy and celebrate the things we love about Christmas, whilst taking time to remember those no longer with us.

“I’m proud that we were able to support The Rotary Club with their fundraising efforts for such an incredible charity that has touched the lives of so many people in the District.”

Barry Andrews, Chairman of the Rotary Club of Royal Leamington Spa’ Fundraising Committee, added: “I would like to express a heartfelt thank you for all the ingenuity and hard work that Warwick District Council put in towards organising a virtual version of the Leamington Christmas Tree switch-on.

“With the accompanying “all-singing, all-dancing” virtual stage show, speeches from the various Town Mayors and, of course, the real Father Christmas stressing the importance of our campaign, it all contributed towards the incredible success of our fundraising efforts.”

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