12:38PM, Monday 11 January 2021
A 'Tree of Hope' which was planted in Marlow to dedicate messages to loved ones has raised £1,000 for charities in and around the area.
It featured a physical tree, located next to the war memorial in the Causeway, together with an online 'Tree of Hope' - and invited donations in support of five nearby charities.
As a result, more than £900 was donated by members of the public, and the Marlow Thames Rotary Club has agreed to round the sum up to £1000, and pay for all set-up costs.
A website allowed the public to dedicate a message to loved ones and offer a donation to a charity. Then, members of the Rotary Club decorated the real tree with dedication tags and lights.
Tributes and dedications were paid mainly to family members and friends, but also to key workers and community groups.
Donations of £200 will be made to: The Marlow mayor’s charity (mental health in young people); Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice; South Bucks Hospice; Thames Valley Adventure Playground, and Marlow Age Concern.
Marlow mayor, Cllr Richard Scott, said: “We were absolutely delighted to support this initiative - put together by Marlow Thames Rotary Club, and of course to raise £1,000 in the current environment is a fantastic achievement.
"Hopefully this initiative will be repeated in future years – and become more widely known.”
Nicole Hockly, president of Marlow Thames Rotary Club, added: “We are very pleased with the public support for this initiative.
"We had intended to incorporate live activities by the tree in the High Street – including a singalong – but of course the current restrictions prevented this.
"So to raise over £900 was fantastic – and our club was very happy to round this up and to ensure that all set up costs were covered.
"We will arrange for the five charities selected to receive their £200 in the next few days.
“This was very much a 'test' initiative – and it worked. We will definitely repeat it in 2021 - and hopefully build on the success of the first event.”
For more information on Marlow Thames Rotary Club, visit www.marlowthamesrotary.org.uk
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