With Bacta’s chosen charity Rays of Sunshine receiving almost half a million pounds raised by members, the Bacta Charitable Trust took the opportunity to thank the industry at this year’s AGM and Convention, before announcing even more good causes for its future of fundraising.
With Bacta recognised across the industry for its sizeable and considered charity contributions, Jimmy Thomas, chair of the Bacta Charitable Trust, took the podium to express his thanks to members.
Despite highlighting the “difficult times” currently faced by many operators, Thomas said that this year’s charitable donations were set to outweigh those of 2017.
“I asked our treasurer the simple question; how was this year compared with last? And he told me it has done better. So that’s a very big feather in our cap that in these difficult times we’ve still kept our desire to raise money for Rays of Sunshine.”
“You’ll be pleased to know that so far we’ve given them over £420,000, and have bought a lot of magic to seriously ill children.”
Praising the London and Home Counties Golf Day for raising nearly £12,000, Thomas added that it was one of two most significant contributors to this year’s total, alongside John Stergides’ Park Avenue Open Day, which raised over £5,000.
“Now this year, we’ve decided it was time for a little change. We want to be able to support local charities that some of your sections have, it’s nice for you to be able to come to us with local causes and for the charitable trust to be able to top it up.”
“We therefore have decided that instead of one major charity going forward, we’d take four.”
As well as Rays of Sunshine, the Bacta Charitable Trust will also now support Great Ormond Street Hospital, which will benefit from funds raised by the Tickets for Wishes scheme that collected £20,000 last year.
The trust will also dedicate fundraising efforts to Children with Cancer, and the Macmillan department at the Royal Marsden Hospital.
“This new department has a 24 hour a day landline, which anybody can ring into when they have concerns. You can phone them and they will listen, give their opinion, direct you to the right place, and advise on treatment.”
“Cancer has been very hard for this industry, two of what would have been our future presidents were taken from us by cancer, and so we all owe a big debt to these charities, and I thank you all for supporting.”
Concluding his speech, Thomas added that not only do the selected charities benefit from the money raised by Bacta members, but so too do the members themselves, with their charitable efforts demonstrating the integrity and generosity of the industry.
“I hope this year we’ll see a lot more support for our charities. Remember it’s our charities that get us the recognition from people in parliament and from everybody else that we’re not just in the business for money, we’re in the business for fun.”