Christmas Charity Lunch raises nearly £20,000

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The inaugural Wooden Spoon and Exeter Foundation Christmas lunch has proved a huge success, with nearly £20,000 raised for the two charities.

380 people attended the event at Sandy Park on 9th December, which was the first time the Wooden Spoon and the charity of the Exeter Chiefs, the Exeter Foundation, had joined forces for a Christmas lunch.

The afternoon’s guest speaker was Nigel Owens MBE, one of the world’s most respected rugby referees who regaled the crowd with anecdotes from international rugby.  Entertainment was also provided by local favourite, comedian Tank Sherman, and the two comperes, Exeter Chiefs’ Chris Bentley and former England International David Trick.

Funds were raised with a raffle and auction, which included a signed and framed Exeter Chiefs shirt from the 2016 Premiership final and one of Nigel Owens’ Rugby World Cup jerseys, also framed and signed. The audience also contributed to the total raised by playing a game of Spoony v Big Chief, which involved the mascots competing against each other in games such as catching rugby balls and racing on the Sandy Park pitch.

Roger Haywood, Chairman of the Devon Wooden Spoon, said: “It is such a great total to have raised and we are hugely thankful for everyone’s generosity. The funds raised will enable the Devon branch of the Wooden Spoon to continue investing in projects for disadvantaged children through Devon.”

Chairman of the Exeter Foundation, Tony Rowe OBE, said: “We’re delighted to have raised such a fantastic sum; the generosity of the guests was wonderful.

“Our share of the money raised will go into our undesignated pot, from which Exeter-based organisations can apply for project grants. The funds will certainly go to a fantastic local cause.”

The Exeter Foundation was also presented with two cheques totalling nearly £50,000 to further bolster the undesignated pot, from the 19240 Shrouds of the Somme project and the Exeter Chiefs Cycling Club.

Next year’s event is already booked to take place on Friday 8th December 2017 at Sandy Park; those wanting to attend are invited to email enquiries@exeterfoundation.org.uk to register their interest. Further details will be released in the New Year.

For more information about either the Wooden Spoon or the Exeter Foundation, please visit their respective websites: www.woodenspoon.org.uk and www.exeterfoundation.org.uk