Bumper year for Rudolph and his helpers

RUDOLPH and his team of helpers were today full of Christmas cheer after the festive float raised a staggering sum of cash for two good causes.

RUDOLPH and his team of helpers were today full of Christmas cheer after the festive float raised a staggering sum of cash for two good causes.

Despite the doom and gloom of the economic crisis, the generous people of Ipswich dug deep to ensure the 2008 collection total was the best for several years.

Those who enjoyed Rudolph's visit to their street filled collecting tins with a staggering £9,873 - a figure topped up to £10,000 by organisers The Round Table.

The cash raised will be split between East Anglia's Children's Hospices and The Evening Star's Star is Born Christmas appeal, which aims to pay for the training of a guide dog pup.

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Organiser and Round Table member William Coe paid tribute to the generosity of those who donated pounds and pence.

He said: “This year has been the best for a while.

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“It's been fantastic.

“We have beaten last year's total which, given what's going on at the moment, is brilliant.”

Rudolph and his volunteers have been spreading yuletide happiness in the town since 1970 when the Ipswich Round Table focussed its efforts on raising money for good causes.

Using the services of Bernard Reynolds, the head of art at Suffolk College, the Round Table built Rudolph from papier mache.

Mr Coe said: “It's a fantastic event.

“When you are running around streets for two-and-a-half hours every night and kids are coming up to you waving and telling you what they want, there is something quite magical about it.”

This year, Rudolph began his rounds on December 3 in Bixley Drive and the Australia Estate and concluded on Friday in Broughton Road.

Mr Coe added: “Rudolph will be back again raising more money next year.”

Did you see Rudolph on his rounds? What do you think of the festive float? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

A Star is Born:

CUDDLY pup Star is destined for a special role in life - for she will be the eyes of a blind person.

The Evening Star has teamed up with the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity and is raising money to pay for Star's training.

Her work in looking after and guiding someone who is blind or sight-impaired will enable that person to live a much richer and fuller life, to get out and about on their own, to be free and enjoy real independence.

To donate to the appeal, please send cheques - made payable to the Guide Dogs - to Richard Cornwell, Evening Star, 172 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, IP11 7DU.

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