SANTA Claus received his own present as the Rotary Club of Royton and Crompton raised a wonderful £3,425.50 for community causes and put a smile on hundreds of youngsters’ faces.
For nine successive days earlier this month around 30 Rotary and Inner Wheel members visited locations in Shaw, Crompton, Heyside and Royton bringing their own brand of festive cheer.
It’s a tradition that has taken place for 35 years with Santa and his helpers dropping into neighbourhoods with a ho ho ho and glad tidings of joy.
In return, residents donate spare change which will be shared out in the New Year to a variety of local charities.
In 2017, Santa called in to Grassmere, Netherhouse, Thorpe Farm, Rushcroft, Holden Fold, Heyside and three times to Elk Mill on a new ‘sleigh’.
And in keeping with a man from the North Pole, the Rotary Club crew had to contend with freezing temperatures.
Despite the mercury falling, Club president, Andy Czakow, described the nine days of a Rotary Club Christmas as “very successful”.
“We got off to a good start with a collection at Grassmere,” explained Andy. “And Monday night round Netherhouse was very good.
“Our first trip to Elk Mill, outside ASDA at Home was very busy with a queue of children virtually all the time we were there.
“The last Saturday though I think a lot of people were put off by the weather. However we plan, we can’t beat the weather.
“That was the case when we visited Heyside. There were an awful lot of frozen pavements and driveways.
“We have to apologise to people if we didn’t make some places but safety of members is most important especially as we are all volunteers.
‘But taking everything into consideration the response from parents and children was fantastic
“In various guises we have been doing this for 35 years. But it is the first year Santa has had his new trailer.
“We only just finished in time! So, there are things we can improve on: more lights, improve the graphics and paint the wheels to make it look more blingy.”
Monies raised will be distributed in February or March and Andy is keen to hear from new groups who haven’t perhaps previously benefited.
“We have groups approach us but there are others who we don’t know we who also are doing good work,” he said.
“We should all work together to help local community.”
Meanwhile, the Rotary Club brought more festive cheer to the older members of the community as they took groups from local care homes to the All in One Garden Centre for a day.
There they saw the Christmas decorations, presents, enjoyed a Christmas lunch and met Father Christmas.
The Rotary Club of Crompton and Royton carry out community work and also support a range of local and international charities and projects.
They meet at the Puckersley Inn every Wednesday lunchtime from 12.30pm-2pm, and their meetings include a range of interesting speakers.
For more information, visit their Facebook page /CromptonandRoytonRotary or call president Andy Czakow on: 01706 840266.