Harrogate Round Table thanks town for its support after a difficult year for fundraising at the Stray bonfire
Harrogate and District Round Table has thanked the town for its support after a difficult year for fundraising at the Stray bonfire and fireworks display.
The chairman of the group, Alan Fisher, took to social media earlier this week to say how “deeply saddened” he was at the amount of money raised for charity, revealing that only £650 would go to this year’s two nominated causes after the costs of the event - despite thousands of residents attending on Saturday, and scores of volunteers assisting with bucket collections.
In a public post to his personal Facebook page, Mr Fisher said the fundraising total called the future of the display “into question”. But after launching a post-event appeal, the final total raised by donations for the charities - Disability Action Yorkshire and the Forest School - now stands at nearly £1,200.
Thanking the Harrogate community for their support, the Round Table said in a statement: “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. 2019 was the 49th year of the Harrogate & District Round Table Charity Stray Bonfire and Fireworks Display and with your help and support we look forward to seeing you again on the Stray next year for the 50th.”
To donate, please text Straybonfire to 70085, followed by the amount, for example: “STRAYBONFIRE 10.”