TWO Chester charities have expressed their disappointment at the lack of sponsorship money handed in from last December’s Santa Dash.
Despite a record number of people taking part and positive feedback about the event, organisers the Hospice of the Good Shepherd and the Countess of Chester Hospital are disappointed with the amount of sponsorship that has been paid in so far.
Only 350 people out of 1,650 entrants have paid in any sponsorship donations, and both charities are facing the prospect of receiving considerably less income than they did from the inaugural event in 2011.
Participants paid a £10 entrance fee for the event, which did not go towards the charities, which included a Santa suit, medal, goody bag, refreshments, a Santa pen and other items including money off coupons for local health clubs and restaurants, as well as a free Santa’s Grotto for children under 10.
Countess fundraising manager Janet Ratcliffe said: “This is an expensive event to set up and from the outset we made it clear to all entrants that they were taking part in a sponsored event and that the charities do not benefit from the £10 entry fee.
“We were delighted to hear from the hundreds of comments we received after the event what a great time everybody had. However, our primary objective from his event is obviously to raise funds for both charities.”
Amanda Le Breton, marketing and fundraising manager at the Hospice of the Good Shepherd at Backford, said: “It is possible that some people took part and raised funds for different charities, which is an option with some other local Santa dashes that are run by event management companies who don’t focus on the charitable aspect of the event.
“However, staff and volunteers from the Gordon Lane hospice and Liverpool Road hospital put an enormous amount of work into ensuring this was a safe and successful event and it is very disappointing to think we are not going to see the financial benefit for our charities we anticipated.”
People who have not yet paid in their sponsorship are being urged to collect the cash from their sponsors at the earliest opportunity and pay the money in using the bank paying in slip they were issued with.