A crowd was waiting outside the door as bagpipes heralded the Mayor of Runnymede's opening processional of the AWBS Christmas Fayre 2016. The Mayor Councillor Alan Alderson and his wife the Mayoress walked through historic Founders Hall at Royal Holloway College, University of London. They were absolutely lovely and gracious to all, stopping to speak to TCP, The Clubhouse Project who are one of AWBS's sponsored charities for 2016-2017. AWBS are very grateful to them for this gracious opening! Another very grateful thank you goes to our lovely Christmas Fayre sponsor - The Staines Centre of Dental Excellence. Thank you so very much for your generous donation to help make this possible!
A personal highlight for me was having this opportunity to meet some of our AWBS 2016-2017 sponsored charities. At TCP's booth we could purchase some of the creative crafts their special needs children learn to make. What a joy to see how excited these lovely young people were to show off their handiwork. Their laughter was infectious. Other club sponsored charities who were able to stop by included many from the Parkinson's Unit and volunteers from ABC to Read. The Mayor and Mayoress of Runnymede took such an interest in hearing about our charities that the Mayoress purchased something from TCP to take with her.
Our 2016-2017 Charity slate is why our Christmas Fayre exists. It is our hero event to raise very much needed and appreciated funds for usually 4 or 5 local, often smaller charities which AWBS receives applications from and votes upon each year to sponsor. This year those charities are: TCP (The Clubhouse Project), ABC to Read, Parkinson's Unit Bracknell District Branch, and Your Sanctuary.
Thanks to hard work and skilled leadership of our 2016 Christmas Fayre chair Alicia Essex and her fantastic team our Fayre has gone from strength to strength. In her post-Fayre toast Alicia tipped the glass to last year's chair Michelle Olson for her inspired move to Royal Holloway and the challenge of pulling off a new location for an established event. Alicia's happily exhausted team shone the Christmas light back onto her with kudos for having masterfully picked up the baton.
Volunteers were plenty, shoppers surpassed expectations and there wasn't a quiet moment all day. Many fantastic raffle prizes were won, favorite vendors were greeted with cheer and exciting new wonders were seen.
Bravi Tutti, the season has started off in a holly jolly way!!
Kristi Thompson, President 2015- 2017