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Village Christmas Dinner fund dishes up the cash for air ambulance charity

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Villagers may have missed out on their annual festive feast but it meant an early Christmas present for a local charity.

Parson Drove Over 60s Christmas Dinner has been on the menu in the village for over 15 years thanks to funds raised by regular bingo events organised by Casey Bates, Maureen and Lonnie Fyson and the late Barbara Writght and a multitude of helpers.

Sadly the 2020 event, which was due to be held in the village hall last December, was cancelled thanks to the pandemic.

Parson drove fundraisers have handed over money to the East Anglian Air Ambulance. (52044962)
Parson drove fundraisers have handed over money to the East Anglian Air Ambulance. (52044962)

But as each dinner, which was provided for over 100 of the over 60s in Parson Drove, took up to 18 months to plan and fundraise for, there was already a significant amount of cash in the bank when the meal was called off.

Sometime earlier organisers had agreed to handover any money in the kitty to charity if the Christmas dinners could not continue.

As a result the East Anglian Air Ambulance was given £2,584.34 from the Parson Drove Over 60s Christmas Dinner fund.

Sadly restrictions meant no one from the village was able to handover the cash in person, but a spokesman for the group explained they chose the air ambulance to benefit from the early Christmas gift "because anyone local, or not so local could have need of the air ambulance".

Tammy Swiderski, community fund raiser at East Anglian Air Ambulance said: “We are delighted to have received such a wonderful and unexpected donation.

“East Anglian Air Ambulance exists to provide specialist, hospital level emergency care at the scene of accidents and medical emergencies across the region. We do not receive any regular government funding, therefore such generous support from the groups, people and businesses across East Anglia is crucial in helping us to raise the £15 million we need every year to continue to deliver and develop our helicopter emergency service, which is now 24/7 by air and by road.

"We simply couldn’t do it without such enthusiastic and inspirational support. On behalf of everyone at EAAA, I would like to extend a huge thank you for choosing us as the beneficiary of the fundraising."

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