Harrogate and District Round Table say they are overwhelemed with the number of text donations following Stray Fireworks

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The organisers of the Stray Bonfire and Fireworks say that they have been overwhelmed by the number of text donations.

The surplus achieved after costs so far is now at £1,188.97; up from our original forecast of £650 following an amazing increase in text donations since the and some projected costs coming in under budget. Assuming that we are able to recover the £1,000 bond deposited with Borough Council.

If you attended the Stray Bonfire please search your conscience and consider donating to 70085, Straybonfire followed by the amount. i.e. “STRAYBONFIRE 10”

Andy Rickard, Vice Chairman of the Harrogate Round Table, said:

Firstly, we’d like to say a huge thank you to those of you who helped us make the on Saturday possible – Stray FM for their amazing media coverage, CNG for so kindly sponsoring the fireworks, our volunteers from Disability Action Yorkshire and Forest in Knaresborough for shaking buckets, and of course, every single member of the public that attended. Despite some awful weather it was a genuine pleasure to see so many local residents enjoying the event with their families.

The Stray Bonfire and Fireworks Display is one of many events that we as an organisation put on across the local community, but it’s also one of the toughest to organise. Aside from a tremendous physical effort over the weekend itself, it requires many months of to ensure that everyone can enjoy the event in safety, which is always our number one priority. All of this is done by volunteers but of course there are costs to putting on an event of this scale which we can’t avoid and so it relies on donations from you the public. These costs include things like event application fees, security fencing hire, first aid and provision, traffic management teams, security, staging, sound, and lighting.

We recognise that there has been some recent social media coverage reporting disappointment with the totals raised this year. This was in no way intended to anger anyone or appear ungrateful. Whilst we’re great at organising events perhaps we’re not so amazing at PR, so please understand that it was just a plea from a bunch of folks that were knackered from a weekend of hard graft on the Stray and were aware that donations on the night were down from the previous year whilst the costs and effort required to put on the event had increased.

Reflecting on the reasons for this – the weather, increased safety requirements, and the simple fact that people are less likely to carry change in their pockets these days, we want to emphasise how massively grateful we are to all those of you who have donated money to the event, either on the night or via the ‘text to donate’ number. In particular, our Chairman Alan Fisher wishes to say how overwhelmed he was with the response to his Facebook message on Sunday which has helped to raise even more money via the ‘text to donate’ number.

This means that the surplus achieved after costs so far is now at £1,188.97; up from our original forecast of £650 following an amazing increase in text donations since the event and some projected costs coming in under budget. Assuming that we are able to recover the £1,000 bond deposited with Harrogate Borough Council for use of the Stray, the total surplus will be £2,188.97, every single penny of which will be going to the charities. On top of this, the Scouts also raised a significant amount of money through the sale of food and drinks which will be put to good use in the local community, and Forest raised a further £400 through the sale of glow sticks which will be used to support their students, many of whom have additional educational needs.

Now, as much as we love to raise money for charity, we recognise that the event is also about community service; putting on a free event that everyone can enjoy safely. And that is why we are so passionate about getting the message out there about the need to donate to ensure it continues.

2019 was the 49th year of the Harrogate & District Round Table Charity Stray Bonfire and Fireworks Display and with your continued help and support we look forward to seeing you again on the Stray next year for the 50th.

We would dearly love to be in a situation where the actual event costs are met prior to the night of the bonfire in 2020 and so that way, all of the attendees know that if they are able to donate on the night, every single penny would be going to the local charities.

In order to do this, we would need to appeal to local businesses to support us and to donate towards the event. There is no doubt that the support of CNG allowed us to hold the event this year and enabled us to give a decent sized cheque to the two charities. Next year perhaps your business would be willing to help us out too?

If you can offer business support, help at the next bonfire, or if you want to find out more about joining the team at Harrogate & District Round Table then please visit www.harrogateroundtable.co.uk

Thank you.

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