• York Rotary

Santa Fun Run

"Santa" and his apprentices at Knavesmire

Diana Naish reports.....

Fun-Running Santas were spotted all over York during the weekend of 12th and 13th December as members of the community came together to raise vital funds for three organisations – York Rotary Charity, The Wilberforce Trust and The British Heart Foundation. Despite the mud and rain, Santa Bells were ringing across The Knavesmire, cars tooted and spectators and runners alike really did have fun.

The three Charities worked jointly in promoting this event. Their highly effective press releases have resulted in an article in The Yorkshire Times, 2 articles in The Press and my being on BBC Radio York twice. Social media also played a large part in our joint promotions and I joined over 28 local community Facebook groups and posted weekly over the month leading up to the race and then every other day during the final week.

These posts have included our poster (thank you Brian Joscelyne!), the newspaper articles, a video clip of “3 Dancing Santas” and even one of me as a reindeer pulling Santa and his sleigh swimming at Middlethorpe Spa – plus various “Counting Down” and “Stop Press” reminders. All of these efforts resulted in us having 128 entries to the Race which included supporters of The Wilberforce Trust, The British Heart Foundation, members of the public, Friends of York Rotary and 12 Rotarians.

I am now delighted to announce the winners of the “Best Dressed” competition: Fiona Coward (pictured left) was the “Adult” winner and has been sent a voucher for Afternoon Tea for Two at Middlethorpe Hall; Lewis and Austin Hayler were the joint “Child” winners, receiving a voucher for a Family of Four at Point Zero Trampoline Park and Vicky Hearson’s dog receives a Doggy Hamper. A huge thank you to the businesses donating such generous prizes.

A runner from GoodGym

As well as individual runners, there were also many creative groups: York Charity GoodGym decided to run a 24-hour relay in which 35 of their members took part; some of our own York Rotary members had a 5-person team consisting of “Santa and his Apprentices”.

Poppleton Junior Under 11s dribbled a ball around their football pitch and donated their pocket money.

Entry to the race was through the dedicated racing website Racebest which, on the whole, worked quite well although, as we were not charging a fixed fee but inviting donations (in order to attract Gift Aid) it confused one or two people. Including Gift Aid we have raised over £2,050 which will be divided equally between the three charities.

This has been an enjoyable and worthwhile collaboration which not only raised funds but also awareness and goodwill towards York Rotary from the other 2 charities and the wider York Community. The message was loud and clear – York Rotary is there to help the local community and has fun doing so!

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