Hospice team 'humbled' by generosity as Hero heads home
PUBLISHED: 15:23 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 04 October 2019
The team behind the Elmer parade have admitted they were 'humbled' by a surprise plot to secure the extra Hero sculpture for the hospice as the statues were auctioned off this week.
Charlie Langhorne, of Wild In Art, leapt into action, taking the microphone from the auctioneers from Clarke & Simpson as the penultimate lot was about to go under the hammer at Ipswich Corn Exchange on Thursday night.
Appealing to the gathered crowd of hospice supporters, art enthusiasts and trail fans, Mr Langhorne praised Norman Lloyd and his team for bringing Elmer's Big parade Suffolk to the streets of Ipswich this summer and asked them to support him in a bid to buy the Elmer for the hospice.
He pledged £500 and called on others to do the same, and with 12 hands shooting up in the air, he soon had a collective £6,000 to open the bidding.
With no further bids received the collective were successful in securing Hero - which represented all of the emergency crews serving Suffolk - for St Elizabeth Hospice as a legacy of the successful fundraiser.
The £6,000 raised for Hero, combined with the total from the other Elmer's, plus £50,000 from additional fundraising activities organised over the summer, gave the hospice a grand total of £261,500 profit.
See our table here to see how much your favourite Elmer raised.
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In addition, there was a silent auction for a painting created on the evening by trail artist Lois Cordelia which raised an additional £550.
The Pigs Gone Wild trail in 2016 raised £200,000 - enough to run the hospice for a week - and the team hoped to beat that this time around.
Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk, said: "What a night we had. We are really pleased with the total raised; we had set our sights on beating our Pigs Gone Wild total so are thrilled to have more than achieved that.
"It was also really humbling to see the contributions offered up for Hero; now we can bring him home to be with our real hospice heroes, as well as Dr Trott and Nurse Honey-Cured of course, who already resides in the garden following our previous trail.
"This campaign has been a true team effort and we are indebted to all those who have contributed, whether that be financially or with their valuable time and effort."
Artist laura Beardsell-Moore, who had two sculptures on the trail, said: "I am absolutely thrilled with the amount of money the Elmer sculptures I painted have made for the hospice - a total of £7,200.
"Watchign the bids going up was a little nerve-racking but really exciting. I'm especially proud that Poppy made £4,000, which is a great amount to go towards the hospice's vital work.
"I hope both Stella the Storyteller and Poppy will give their new owners a lot of pleasure."