Jersey Christmas Appeal auction raises over £52,000
THIS year’s Jersey Christmas Appeal charity auction raised more than £52,000 to help Islanders in need – but it fell short of the 2016 total by almost £15,000.
Former BBC Radio Jersey presenter Fiona Walker who anchored the programme on Channel 103 with help from local radio DJs says she was, nonetheless, delighted with the outcome.
‘The total was less than we raised last year but that was down to a couple of things,’ she said. ‘We had a large cash donation last year which was great but it artificially pushed up the final total.
‘And the other thing was we had a couple of luxury lots last year where we ended up with bidding wars. There were three people bidding against each other for one lot and they were absolutely determined to get it.
‘While it was to our benefit we did not expect to get the same happening this year. We were looking to raise more than £50,000 so I am over the moon and really pleased.’
From 9 am to 2 pm on Sunday Islanders phoned in to bid for 211 lots, including a hamper donated by Prince Charles and a trip on a harbour pilot boat. There were also 14 ‘star’ lots such as driving a Porsche at Silverstone race track and a recording session with Gilbert O’Sullivan. When added to bids made online over last week the auction raised £45,372.
In addition, individual donations were made to ‘Pledge a Wedge’ of £10 for the chance of winning a holiday. By the time phone lines closed at 2 pm the top prize, a week in New Orleans, had generated £6,650, bringing the overall total to £52,022.
‘It was good fun and the show really flowed,’ Mrs Walker said. ‘Everyone got into it and the atmosphere was fantastic.’
Now in its 120th year, the Jersey Christmas Appeal was started by the Evening Post in 1897. The radio auction element of it is now in its 34th year.
The money raised is spent on vouchers and food hampers to help Islanders in need, including the elderly, single parents and families on low incomes, at Christmas. On average the appeal helps about 1,500 families and individuals every year.
In 2016 it raised more than £150,000, which organisers hope to match this year.
Donations to the appeal can be made throughout December online at jerseychristmasappeal.je or by giving to volunteers from the Island’s service clubs who will be rattling collecting tins around the town centre over the next few weeks.