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Air festival raises £28k for charities

PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 July 2010

Members of charity groups who received cheques totalling £28,000 for helping at this year's Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival. Seated at the front right are the three directors of the Air Festival company, Brian Hunter, Paul  Bayfield and Barry Hartley, and

Members of charity groups who received cheques totalling £28,000 for helping at this year's Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival. Seated at the front right are the three directors of the Air Festival company, Brian Hunter, Paul Bayfield and Barry Hartley, and

JUST how much Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival helps local charities was underlined when cheques totalling over £28,000 were presented to local and regional groups who helped at this year's event.

JUST how much Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival helps local charities was underlined when cheques totalling over £28,000 were presented to local and regional groups who helped at this year's event.

The record amount - slightly up on last year's of £27,674 - was the reward for an army of volunteers, representing 24 organisations, who were on duty over the two days of the festival in July.

Some of the volunteers acted as stewards among the 425,000 visitors while others helped to supervise the park and ride sites, sell programmes and merchandise and take charge of the voluntary bucket collections.

With the voluntary entrance donation being set at £2 instead of the previous £1, the bucket collection brought in a record £120,000.

Presenting the cheques at Lowestoft's Hotel Victoria, on Thursday, last week, air festival managing director Paul Bayfield described the cash collection as “a phenomenal achievement”.

He said: “The collection was £40,000 up on last year. This almost exactly matched the shortfall in our sponsorship and so enabled us to make the decision to go ahead with next year's event.”

Mr Bayfield explained that the 2010 air festival would have to be held on Thursday and Friday, August 12 and 13 - the first time in 14 years that the event has not been held in July. This was because of various factors such as school holiday dates and annual leave by RAF display teams.

Organisations who received commission for helping as collectors, looking after park and ride, and selling programmes and merchandise were: Rotary clubs of Lowestoft, Lowestoft East Point, Lowestoft South, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Harleston; Lowestoft Inner Wheel; Lions clubs of Lowestoft, Beccles and Halesworth; Great Yarmouth Lifeboat Guild; Beccles Sea Cadets; 1st Carlton Colville Air Scouts; Great Yarmouth ATC; Cantors Theatrical charity; Suffolk Befriending Scheme; Lowestoft Signing Choir; Mia-Lucy Rose Trust; and three environmental community groups, Gunton Woodland, Corton Woodland and Bonds Meadow Groups.

Four organisations who received cheques for supplying stewards were: the Rotary Club of Norwich St Edmund, Norwich Blackfriars Rotary Club, Lowestoft Fisherman's Mission, Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Motorboat Club, and Lowestoft St John's Housing Trust.

The cheques presented amonted to £28,106. This brought the total of commission paid by the air festival company to local charity groups over a five-year period to more than £118,000.

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