A staggering £3870 has been raised for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance by the 14th annual Christmas lights display at Long Lane in Newport, setting a new all-time record for fundraisers Terry and Sue Ramplin.
Hundreds upon hundreds of Islanders descended on the colourful display at Long Lane throughout the Christmas period and this year donated the largest amount of money in a single year over the past 14. Previously, the record stood at around £2800 – a long way from the £240 raised back in 2000.
Ian Browning, community and corporate fundraiser for HIOWAA, today (Friday) accepted the cheque and explained that the donation can keep the air ambulance flying for a day, potentially saving several lives with the charity carrying out 4-5 missions a day on average.
Unfortunately, the future of the last remaining large lights display on the Island is in doubt, with local businesses and residents being called upon to keep the tradition going. As the 15th year approaches, donations and support are needed to help Terry put on the display for 2015 and to continue raising much-needed funds for charities such as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
With the rising cost of electric and the need to replace lights on a regular basis, fundraising Terry is asking businesses and individuals to donate towards the cost of putting on the display and, where possible, donate working but unwanted (or brand new!) Christmas lights.
Each year Terry starts decorating his house in October and has completely self-funded the display for the benefit of Islanders and the receiving charities. Now reaching retirement, a little help is needed to continue bringing smiles to the hundreds of children and adults who enjoy the display.
Island Echo went along to the big switch on back in November – you can watch a video of the magic below…
Over the next month supporters are asked to get in touch to pledge their support – without support Terry says it is unlikely he will be able to light up Newport this coming Christmas.
Anyone able to support the festive event through a donation or services is asked to contact Terry on 01983 526089.