A Middlesbrough FC fans group with a goal of putting on a Christmas party for 120 special Teesside children has been given a £2,500 boost by local businesses.
Organised by Boro Real Fans Believe in Dreams, this Sunday’s party will feature Disney-themed winter wonderland, with invited children receiving a golden ticket personally delivered by Father Christmas.
And, after narrowly topping a public poll organised by charitable movement Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, the fans’ plans are taking shape.
Pictured (above): Santa and Boro Real Fans Believe in Dreams are set for a big Christmas party after receiving £2,500 through Teesside Philanthropic Foundation’s £10,000 Goalden Giveaway, presented by Cathal Doocey of CPD Bodies (back second right) and Andy Preston (back second left).
In an event appropriately held at the Riverside Stadium, they received £2,500 as part of the Foundation’s latest £10,000 Goalden Giveaway.
The Giveaway is funded by 40 local companies and individuals with the aim of making Teesside a better place to live and work.
Members of the public cast nearly 2,500 votes in the poll to decide which good causes received the biggest share of the cash pot, with Boro Real Fans receiving just 14 votes more than runners-up Bloodrun EVS.
With golden tickets delivered by Santa himself to 120 lucky children, the party will now go ahead featuring Santa’s grotto, giant snow globes, an inflatable bowling alley, Disney characters, live music shows, face painting, a magician and candy carts.
After receiving the £2,500 cheque from Cathal Doocey of Foundation patrons CPD Bodies, Boro Real Fans chairman Peter Wilson said: “We are going to provide 120 deserving kids with a Christmas party the likes of which has never been seen on Teesside.
“Whether they are from disadvantaged backgrounds, live with disabilities or have lost loved ones, all of the kids attending the party have been nominated by Boro fans and members of the public.
“It will be amazing – and we can’t thank the Philanthropic Foundation enough for their generosity, and a big thank you to everyone who voted for us too.”
After receiving applications from more than 60 Teesside community groups, a panel of the Foundation’s trustees and patrons chose 10 to share £10,000 via the Goalden Giveaway.
Others receiving a share of the giveaway were:
• Bloodrun EVS – volunteer emergency blood deliveries for NHS Teesside. £1,500 presented by Jonathan Willett of Henderson Insurance Brokers.
• Submit 2 Success – free healthy lifestyle & fitness for Thornaby youths, £1,000 presented by Lee Bramley of The Endeavour Partnership.
• Hartlepool Gymnastics Club – new equipment to help kids shine like stars. £1,000, presented by Paul Gibson of Active Chartered Financial Consultants.
• Breakfast Club @ St Aidan’s – free meals for addicts, homeless & vulnerable. £1,000 presented by Lisa Preston and David Badger of Hunters estate agents.
• Feel 4 Steel – free Christmas party for steelworkers’ families, organised by nine-year-old Ben Hebden and his brother Tom, 11. £750 presented by Nigel Willis of First Choice Labels.
• Thornaby Amateur Swimming Club – courses for volunteer coaches. £750 presented by Foundation chairman Andy Preston.
• Middlesbrough St John’s Brownies – for new cooker & trip to RSPB Saltholme. £500 presented by Emily Bentley of Evolution Business and Tax Advisors.
• Backstreet Theatre Company – shows by locals with learning disabilities. £500 presented by Sally Hare of BHP Law.
• Carlin How Community Association – street dance youth project in East Cleveland. Received £500.
Foundation chairman Andy Preston said: “We congratulate every one of the organisations that will benefit from a share of the £10,000.
“It’s heartwarming to know that the Foundation is giving ten champions of the local community a real boost just before Christmas as part of our ongoing commitment to making Teesside a better place in which to live, work and do business.
“Right across Teesside there are so many amazing community groups run by inspiring volunteers – and it’s heart-warming to see generous local companies rallying to their cause like this.”
The Philanthropic Foundation plans another £10,000 Goalden Giveaway early in 2016.
• Pictured (below): Community groups who shared Teesside Philanthropic Foundation’s £10,000 Goalden Giveaway pictured with the charity’s patrons.