Crowds urged to give generously at town’s fireworks spectacularBy Victoria Corbett
October 31, 2008
A fiery spectacular will light up the sky above Wokingham and raise money for good causes this weekend.
The 20th annual Wokingham Spectacular Charity Fireworks will support several charities which work in the community.
The major beneficiaries from this year’s sparkling fundraiser, at Cantley Park in Twyford Road on Saturday, will be Sebastian’s Action Trust, Wokingham and District Cancer Care Trust and Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance.
The event begins with a fancy dress competition for children and a torchlit procession from Wokingham Town Hall in Market Place.
All youngsters are encouraged to turn up in their favourite spooky outfits or as their favourite characters from 5.15pm at the town hall to be in with a chance to win a prize.
There will be refreshments and a funfair at Cantley Park to entertain the crowds while waiting for the fireworks to begin at 7.30pm.
The fireworks will be accompanied by music from St Sebastian’s Brass Band and watch out for a romantic surprise at the end of the display.
Last year the display raised more than £25,000 and organisers the Windsor Forest Unicorns hope it will be another bumper year.
Sarah Clark, fundraising officer for Sebastian’s Action Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as one of the charities to benefit from this great community event.
“We are really grateful to the Unicorns for all the hard work they have put in to organising the event and hope that people will go along and enjoy themselves in the knowledge that they are supporting really worthy causes.
“The trust has recently secured planning permission to build the holiday house that nine-year-old Sebastian Gates dreamt of creating, shortly before he died on Christmas Eve 2003, following a two-and-half-year battle with cancer.
“The house will be a place where families with a seriously-ill child can go to enjoy precious time together, free of charge, in purpose built facilities which will include an indoor pool and spa, a games room, a sensory room and library.
“Any funds generated for the trust from this event will help us towards furnishing the holiday house, but also towards fulfilling the many practical projects we carry out each year in support of families who have a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness.
“We hope that building work on the holiday house will start before Christmas and that the house will be open to families by December next year.”
Wokingham and District Cancer Care Trust runs Macmillan House at Wokingham Hospital in Barkham Road and offers care to people suffering from cancer in the borough.
Entry to the event is by programme only, which cost £3 in advance, £4 on the day and £5 on the gate.
Children aged seven and under enter for free.
Programmes are available at various locations, including The Wokingham Times office in Denmark Street.
The Unicorns were unable to secure a sponsor for this year’s event, with many companies saying their budgets were too tight as a result of the credit crunch.
The group is relying on generous donations from the crowd during the event to help pay for the fireworks.