Organiser and founder of the Weston Christmas Light Display, Graham Witter BEM, has announced that his Starlit Garden drive-thru event has raised a whopping total of £25,450 for The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.
Despite the huge challenges of 2020, Graham and his family were determined to bring some much needed festive happiness to the local community and they once again transformed the garden of their family home in to a magical winter wonderland throughout December. In line with local Government restrictions, and to keep his visitors safe, Graham created a magical drive-thru event, which was visited by more than 5,200 cars.
Graham has now revealed that his months of planning and hard work before December had paid off as the light display has raised a wonderful £25,450 for The Donna Louise. This incredible amount takes Graham’s total fundraising for the Hospice to a jaw-dropping £150,300 since 2013.
Graham said, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be handing over so much money to The Donna Louise. When I first start planning the display, back in the Summer, I wasn’t sure whether we would even be allowed to go ahead, but, I came up with the idea of a drive-thru display so that people could enjoy the display from the safety of their own car.
“With most other Christmas experiences sadly cancelled, we were so relieved that we were once again able to bring some festive magic to our local community, after such a challenging year. The support throughout December was overwhelming and our visitors were incredibly generous.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to my Mum and Dad, my amazing volunteers and sponsors, my event partner Whitby Morrison and principal sponsor Rhino Safety. Without all their generous support, our Starlit Garden wouldn’t have been possible.”
Since 2013 Graham has dedicated hundreds of hours decorating his family home, garden and farm buildings with thousands of festive lights and decorations to raise money for The Donna Louise Hospice in memory of his sister, Jessica.
Jessica, who had Cardio-facio Cutaneous syndrome, severe epilepsy, and complex health needs, spent time at The Donna Louise Hospice in Trentham and Graham initially began the display to do something special for his sister.
Graham’s hard work and dedication saw him named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 and will proudly receive the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to charitable fundraising and to the community in Crewe. A fantastic and well-deserved recognition.
Dot Gillespie, Director of Care at The Donna Louise, added, “After the challenges of 2020 it would have been understandable if Graham had decided not to go ahead with December’s display, but he was determined to make it a success and his Starlit Garden exceeded everyone’s expectations. I’d like to say a massive thank you to Graham and his family on behalf of the children and their families who will benefit from the money he’s raised. He really is a very special and dedicated supporter and we are so grateful for all his hard work.”