As a Rotary club symbolically removes its 2020 Tree of Light in the centre of town, thanks are expressed to all those who made this symbol of remembrance such a welcome successful project – and a most positive response to the coronavirus pandemic.

For Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s latest Tree of Light in the Bell Tower of St. Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury, has raised a record £7,046, plus gift aid, for three deserving local charities. The 2019 Tree of Light raised £5,700, plus gift aid, and with monies still coming in for 2020 this result is being acknowledged as the best yet.

Rotary recognises that without the backing of the Shropshire Star, who have given outstanding coverage to the Tree of Light appeal in the lead-up to Christmas, this exceptional result would not have been possible. Said Rotary Tree of Light co-ordinator Iain Gilmour: “The tremendous support of the Shropshire Star as well as that of patrons, both existing and new, should be acknowledged in the most glowing of terms. “Rotary is indebted to the Shropshire Star for the superb advanced coverage of the Tree of Light fundraising appeal which included publication of the names of donors of £5 donations in memory of a loved one in what has been an extremely difficult year. I am positive that the recipients of the money raised, Age UK Shropshire, Lingen Davies Cancer Appeal and the West Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, will all be as delighted as we are with this exceptional result in the most unusual year we have experienced since the concept of the Tree of Light was launched. As organisers of the town’s Tree of Light, Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club is absolutely thrilled with the outcome and we also acknowledge the support received from our fellow local Rotary clubs of Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Darwin.”

Rotarian Iain Gilmour said thanks should also go, once again, to Leaton Estate who provided the tree. He added that the 2020 recipients would be receiving their cheques without the formality of an official presentation which he said could not unfortunately take place this year due to lockdown restrictions.

“This, sadly, has to be a break with tradition and in the circumstances is unavoidable. However, Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club will try to provide readers of the Shropshire Star with a few pictures of the handover of cheques to these most worthy causes.”

Julian Wells

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