Local business people across Kirklees and Calderdale have together raised over £32,000 through a Christmas lunch in aid of local children’s charities – a record-breaking amount which smashed the initial target by 40%.
The third annual Kirklees & Calderdale Annual Christmas Lunch (KACCL) took place on Thursday 6 December at the Cedar Court Hotel in Huddersfield in aid of Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice and The Orange Box choir, part of Square Chapel’s community outreach programme in Halifax.
Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice supports local children and families with life-shortening conditions across Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield and Manchester. The Orange Box Choir at Square Chapel in Halifax meanwhile aims to bring together the schools and services across Calderdale, providing a platform for members to grow in confidence by expressing their musical talent in a safe place.
The lunch, sponsored by Huddersfield’s Crowther Chartered Accountants, was attended by 290 people from the local business community and kicked off with a drinks reception to break the ice, followed by a spectacular three course meal and charity auction.
Attendees also enjoyed entertainment by compere Pete Emmett, a heartfelt speech by Emma and Colin Harwood whose daughter has attended Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice for the past three years, as well as an uplifting performance by the Orange Box Choir.
Brave teenager Annabelle Riley, who is a member of the choir and battles a number of difficulties and requires full-time support, brought a tear to the eyes of all as she performed a truly moving and symbolic duet with her mother, Caroline.
The KACCL organising committee represents figures from local businesses across the region, which includes JR Group UK Ltd, Stafflex, Chadwick Lawrence, Faith PR, Eastwood & Partners, Brug Consultancy, Whimsical Events, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Hellomint, Cedar Court Hotels, Orange Box Young people’s centre and Crowther Chartered Accountants.
Steve Crowther chair of KACCL 2018 said: “For the third year running this has been another fantastic event for the local community. We are overwhelmed and delighted with the amount we were able to fundraise.”
“On behalf of the committee, I’d like to extend a thank you to everyone who attended; including the many local businesses who generously provided their services and rallied around organising raffle and auction items. Every donation makes such a huge difference to each charity which support the young people and families in our local area.”
Luen Thompson, chief executive of Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice added: “Our hospice needs to be owned by the community it serves, and events like KACCL achieve exactly that. Not just in the money raised, but also in awareness of what we do and the difference we make, as well as the new relationships we are able to forge with local businesses.”