Light Fund fun and challenges

Retas raffle and English Channel Relay on course to raise £250,000 for industry-wide charity

 

Challenges and fun are a staple of Light Fund events and the latest two are no exception with a Channel Swim and the raffle at The Retas Awards set to raise at least £250,000 for the industry-wide registered charity.

The fun element came at The Retas on Thursday, 7 July, when attendees of the Mary Poppins-esque themed event added the possibility of Practically Perfect raffle prizes to their anticipation, with 11 supercalifragilistic gifts up for grabs, raising £4,000 for the charity in the process.

The GCA’s membership and marketing manager Adriana Lovesy was joined on stage to draw the raffle winners at the Grosvenor House Hotel by a real live Mart – indie retailer Mary Singleton-Jones, who’s celebrating 45 years running Panda Cards in St Albans.

Above: Some lucky raffle winners (clockwise from top left) Reece Campbell, Ross Gordon, Penny Bailey, Ingi Phillips, and Hannah Fletcher, with raffle prize presenters, Presentation’s Andrea Pinder and Max Publishing’s Tracey Bearton, Sam Loveday and Sue Marks
Above: Some lucky raffle winners (clockwise from top left) Reece Campbell, Ross Gordon, Penny Bailey, Ingi Phillips, and Hannah Fletcher, with raffle prize presenters, Presentation’s Andrea Pinder and Max Publishing’s Tracey Bearton, Sam Loveday and Sue Marks

It was retail rich bunch of winners, which included Waitrose’s Ross Gordon, Penny Bailey from Bailey’s, Between The Lines’ Hannah Fletcher, Earlybird’s Heidi Early, No14 Ampthill’s Kirsty Hammond and Panda Cards’ Mary Singleton-Jones, with the latter delighted that it was Adriana not herself who picked that specific ticket from the drum!

The Retas raffle prizes and winners:

Up To The Highest Heights donated by Hallmark (£500 Trailfinders voucher) was won by Reece Campbell, Ankorstore.

Poppin’ Those Corks, sponsored by GBCC (£250 Majestic Wine voucher) was won by Ross Gordon, Waitrose.

Slick Spot, donated by Paperlink (£300 John Lewis voucher) was won by Penny Bailey, Bailey’s.

Feed The Birds, donated by Spring Fair & Autumn Fair (£250 National Garden Centre vouchers) was won by Ingi Phillips, Sensations/Express Yourself.

Sweep Away Stress, donated by Abacus Cards (£350 Champneys spa voucher) was won by Hannah Fletcher, Between The Lines.

Expiali-delicious, donated by Cath Tate Cards (£250 The Ivy Group restaurant voucher) was won by

Mary Singleton-Jones, Panda Cards.

Go Fly A Kite, donated by Woodmansterne Publications (two-night break for two at Shrigley Hall Hotel & Spa) was won by Kristy Hammond, No14 Ampthill.

Step In Time, donated by Danilo (£250 Ticketmaster voucher) was won by Heidi Early, Earlybird.

Scents Of Purpose, donated by Nigel Quiney Publications (£250 Jo Malone fragrance voucher) was won Paul Slater, Watermark.

Practically Perfect, donated by Carte Blanche Greetings (£250 Epicurean Collection hotel and restaurant voucher) was won by Andy Paterson, Woodmansterne.

Spoonfuls Of Sugar, donated by UK Greetings (Fortnum & Mason Celebration hamper) was won by Mark Callaby, Ohh Deer.

Above: Retas raffle winners (clockwise from top left) Mary Singleton-Jones, Kristy Hammond, Heidi Early, Paul Slater, Andy Paterson, and Mark Callaby, with Max Publishing’s lovely Tracey Bearton, Sam Loveday, Jim Bullough, and Sue Marks
Above: Retas raffle winners (clockwise from top left) Mary Singleton-Jones, Kristy Hammond, Heidi Early, Paul Slater, Andy Paterson, and Mark Callaby, with Max Publishing’s lovely Tracey Bearton, Sam Loveday, Jim Bullough, and Sue Marks

While raising money for The Light Fund at The Retas was an enjoyable, sedentary affair, you couldn’t say the same for the 14 hardy souls from the licensing industry who gave their all to the incredible Light Fund English Channel Relay challenge.

They swam across the English Channel recently in two teams – Team High Hopes and Team Optimist – hoping to raise their £250,000 target for the charity, which was set up by Progressive Greetings editor Jakki Brown and industry chums back in 2004.

Having battled severe sea sickness due to extreme swells during the challenge on 29 June, Team High Hopes’ Rhys Fleming was the first to touch French soil in 14 hours 56 minutes, marking a great effort with team mates Stephen Gould (captain), Mark Kingston, Anna Hewitt, Anne Bradford, Simon Gresswell and reserve Terry Lamb.

And Team Optimist  Ian Down (captain), Eion Wallace, Katie Price, Jason Goonery, Mark Bezodis, Kevin Langstaff and reserve Tamsyn Knight – weren’t far behind, landing in 15 hours 24 minutes.

Above: The triumphant swimmers are hoping to beat their £250,000 target
Above: The triumphant swimmers are hoping to beat their £250,000 target

Stephen Gould commented: “An incredible achievement against all the odds, very tough, extreme weather conditions, a true whole team effort, where determination and tenacity triumphed at the end of the day. We experienced the Channel in its raw brutality and we are euphoric, exhausted and completely humbled to get both teams to France.”

To date the swim has hit 89% of its target, at £223,222, with donations continuing to arrive via this  link.

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