It is my privilege to write to you once again to report on the activities undertaken by your Charity Committee in 2008.
As usual, the year provided us with more requests than we could accommodate, and sorting them out was as difficult as ever. Half of the yearly Charity funds available is earmarked to support our ongoing commitment to the Royal School of Needlework, and the Student sponsorship provided at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
A list of the Charities that we were able to assist during the year was published in the autumn issue of the Wyre Drawer. After supporting various Mayoral and Civic appeals, notable among the rest were those from St Paul's Cathedral for new vestments, an appeal from Christ's Hospital, and by no means last, the annual appeal from the London Hackney Carriage Drivers Livery Company, to meet costs for their children's trip to Disneyland. This year we sponsored a taxi which we proudly noted displayed our Livery Crest, as it embarked with its excited passengers on its four day trip to Paris. Our Master, James Simmons and Mrs. Simmons were on hand to see all one hundred cabs safely off from London on a cold and frosty morning in October.
Outside the money raised for general Charity Appeals, the Master also approached the Livery to support BLESMA. As usual you responded with generosity and goodwill so a big 'thank you' to everyone concerned on behalf of this worthy cause.
In view of this special appeal we did not hold a major Charity fund-raising event last year. However Liveryman Julius Oberegger again kindly sponsored a dinner at his North London restaurant which raised a valuable £2,000. Many thanks to him and all who contributed and supported the event. Assistant Malcolm Craig also arranged a tour of Lloyds of London, which provided a fascinating opportunity to see what goes on, whilst raising a respectable £800 or so for our Charity. Thank you Malcolm.
Looking forward to later this year, we will be holding a major fund-raising event in the form of a Charity Ball at the RAC in London. Please make a note of the date, it's the 18th July. The evening promises to be a really special occasion. Our Master this year, Tim Waller and his Lady, have put much personal effort into organising this event, and very much look forward to welcoming you there.
The 200 Club provided a handsome £3,950 for our Charity fund in 2008/9, and a similar sum was returned to members in prize money. If you haven't got a ticket yet please consider this initiative and contat the Clerk for details. The Committee will have written to everyone in January to arrange for renewals and appealing for new members to sign on before the end of March. Please help if you can - your help is very much appreciated.
It's been my privilege to have sat on this committee for the last seven years and I am now handing over to Robert Lampitt who will chair both this and the rejoined Events Committee in 2009. I am sure eveyone would like to join me in wishing him and his enlarged committee continued success in their efforts.
Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank Robert, my Committee members past and present, our Clerk, and the Livery, for all the generous support I have personally received during my time in office.