EACH year the Tipton Christmas Tree of Light Appeal raises funds for a range of local charities, and the money gathered in by last year's event was given to worthy causes at a presentation on the evening of Tuesday 18th February, held at St Martin's and St Paul's Church on Owen Street, Tipton.
This provided the opportunity for all those who had donated to the appeal to meet representatives of the charities and to learn how the charities will put the money to good use. Keith Hodgkins, vice chairman of Tipton Civic Society, who organise the Tree of Light appeal, told us:
"The 2013 Christmas Appeal raised a record £6,000, so we were able to donate a sum of £500 each to twelve charities."
The recipients were Action Heart at Russells Hall Hospital; Acorns Children's Hospice; Birmingham Children's Hospital Charities; Dudley Group of Hospitals Prostate Cancer Charity; The Friday Club at Grace Community Church, Tipton; Guide Dogs for the Blind; Hearing Dogs for Deaf People; The Mayor of Sandwell's Charities: Birmingham Midland Eye Centre and Better Understanding of Dementia in Sandwell (BUDS); Midland Air Ambulance; City Hospital Breast Unit; Sandwell Crossroads Care Attendance Scheme, and Tipton Listeners Service.
The event was attended by the Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Linda Horton and her Consort, Councillor Roger Horton.
Musical entertainment was provided by local entertainer Kenny Craig.
Tipton Civic Society Chairman Ray Brothwood thanked all the local people who had donated to the appeal in memory of lost loved ones whose names were commemorated around the Tree of Light outside the church over the Christmas period.
He also thanked the Tipton and Coseley Building Society for their sponsorship of the event and the Reverend John Dunn, vicar of St Martin's and St Paul's church, for hosting the event.
The Rev Dunn is retiring at the end of the month and before concluding the evening with a blessing he gave a moving tribute to the people of Tipton, saying that Tipton was the friendliest parish that he had known thoughout his career.
This is the fourth year that Tipton Civic Society has organised the event.