The successful Golf Day in Oxford in September was followed by an even more successful Christmas Lunch held at Drayton Park Golf Club near Abingdon in Oxfordshire.
Nearly 200 attendees from companies across Oxfordshire and the neighbouring counties enjoyed the pre lunch (and after lunch!) drinks, a three course meal and great entertainment from the guest speaker, Russ Williams, a Lighthouse Club regular. Russ followed his hilarious ‘presentation’ by conducting the auction of a large number of donated items.
The event, the most successful for many years in terms of attendees, raised approximately £4,000. There was also heart warming postscript to the day.
Since the beginning of 2015, the Central Branch has been receiving direct welfare referrals from the Macmillan Benefits Officers at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. This hospital is a leading national centre for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Earlier in the year they received a referral on behalf of a couple in Oxford where the husband, a general builder, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Tragically, he died during the application process and financial support was then provided for his widow and her teenage son.
One of the auction items, a hamper donated by ‘Earthline’ was won by Leach Lewis Rubber Tracks who generously donated the hamper back to the Club. It was decided by the committee to give it to a ‘deserving’ cause and it was subsequently delivered to the lady in Oxford, who along with her son, were to spend their first Christmas without their husband/Father. She was delighted by the gift, but delayed the opening of the hamper until her son arrived home from school so they could open it together. A truly magical Christmas tale!
Because of the Macmillan connection and the number of referrals from that source, this has been their busiest year for welfare applications and support since the Central Branch was established 20 years ago.
Among a number of items used to publicise the work of the Club, attendees at the Christmas lunch were provided with a leaflet listing some of the recent cases supported by the Branch through its welfare activities in 2015.
Hopefully, this provided a practical connection between the day’s festivities and fund raising with the financial hardship faced by many in our industry due to injury or illness and, in the case of the lady in Oxford, the death of a loved one.