It may be 67 sleeps until Christmas Day, but members of Newton Stewart Round Table are already well into planning this year’s annual Santa’s Sleigh collection. However, this year’s collection, has had to overcome more challenges than usual.
Last Christmas, Santa’s sleigh was stopped in its tracks, after suffering a broken axle and major structural damage. Following the loan of a replacement trailer, Santa was able to complete all his scheduled visits, and avoided disappointing many adults and children in Newton Stewart and the Machars. Since then, however, the club has been desperately trying to put a recovery plan together, to get Santa back on the road.
Local businessman and proprietor of John D Owen butchers, Kenny Owen, and his wife Yolanda, heard about Santa’s plight, and offered their help. They contacted John Irvine, Fundraising Officer for Round Table, and kindly agreed to donate the money raised in their local shop, from the carrier bag charge, to help get Santa mobile again. “When we heard about the Sleigh, and the possibility it may not take place this year, we just wanted to help, so contacted John”, Kenny commented, “As the Sleigh has been raising money for the local community for over 30 years, Yolanda and I thought it fitting that the money generated in the shop, should go back into the community...a “virtuous circle”, you may say, so we didn’t hesitate to contact Round Table”.
John said: “Round Table members have been bowled over by the support received from local people, and can’t thank Kenny and Yolanda enough for their kind donation. The money is really appreciated, and will go towards getting a new sleigh on the road, as well as a replacement generator, lights and other equipment. With the new Sleigh being built by local joiner, Johnnie Johnstone, and professionally painted by David Inglis Painters, rest assured, Santa will soon be back on track, and ready to start the collection run in early December.”
Details of this year’s Santa’s Sleigh visits to each community, will be published on the Newton Stewart Round Table Facebook page, as well as in local newspapers and social media, in the next few weeks. More details on how to join, or find out more about Round Table, can be found at https://www.roundtable.co.uk/ or http://nsroundtable.org.uk/