Evening Star Christmas message

PUBLISHED: 00:01 25 December 2001 | UPDATED: 15:22 03 March 2010

A MERRY Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers, at home and abroad.

This year we are sending out our greetings not only to readers in Suffolk, but also to all those living abroad who log into our website.

A MERRY Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers, at home and abroad.

This year we are sending out our greetings not only to readers in Suffolk, but also to all those living abroad who log into our website.

The Evening Star's online edition, at, is now attracting hundreds of thousands of page visitors – and spreading Suffolk news around the globe.

We are delighted to know that so many people from far and wide read the Star. But, of course, home is still where our heart is and where we can make the biggest contribution.

The Star is determined to be loyal to people here in Ipswich, Felixstowe and the wider Suffolk community. It is a paper which fights all the way for its readers.

We have led the way in putting up rewards to help catch criminals such as the men who killed barmaid Janet Fleming, and who have now been jailed for life.

And we have just launched a reward fund to help catch the evil killer who stabbed pensioner Joan Albert to death at her home in Capel St Mary.

The Evening Star has a real role to play in helping to fight crime and we will continue to work together with police to ensure that violent criminals are put where they belong, behind bars.

Another important campaign is our Name and Shame crusade against the evil of drink-driving, which is running right through the festive season.

We make no apology for our hard-hitting stance on this issue. People who get behind the wheel while over the limit are endangering their own lives and those of others – and once again we send out a warning that anybody who is caught will be Named and Shamed in our newspaper. Drink-drivers, take warning!

Today we want to send out heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported us so well during the past year, both in our campaigns on crime and in our fundraising appeals to help good causes.

We couldn't do it without you – and it is all thanks to your tireless work and caring commitment that our appeals have proved to be such a shining success.

The Evening Star Press Ball raised an amazing £33,000 for Suffolk charity Disability Care Enterprise in just one night. This money helped to make a difference for around 20 special children, buying the equipment to give them greater independence and freedom.

Our campaign to aid SARS, Suffolk Accident Rescue Service, smashed its £25,000 appeal target, aiding another very worthy cause.

And little Terri Calvesbert, so badly burned in a house fire, has touched the hearts of people not only here in Suffolk but across Britain with her spirit of courage. It is great to see the appeal to secure her future, led by the Star, racing towards the £100,000 mark.

There has also been a heartwarming response to our latest Christmas appeal, to raise the last £20,000 for the Vicky Hall Memorial Appeal.

We thank all those who have already responded so well, and appeal to everybody in the community to help make this yet another success.

The Star has spearheaded the fundraising from the beginning and we want to see the much-needed pavilion taking shape as soon as possible, so that it can be used by children and young people in the community Vicky loved.

This is an amazing community with a big heart, as has been shown in the overwhelming support for all our campaigns.

That same spirit also shone through in the response to the atrocities of September 11, which deeply moved people here in Suffolk as in other parts of the world. The messages flooding in for our special book of condolence on the web showed just how much people cared.

Looking to the year ahead, we will continue to fight all the way for our community.

It is our commitment to provide unrivalled news coverage and to monitor all the services, which have such a vital impact on our lives.

We will continue to support the ambulance service, where our pressure has helped to achieve sweeping changes and improved response times.

We will also carry on supporting our hospitals, schools and local government and reporting both the good and the bad.

And we will fight to prevent the insidious spread of regional government. We do not want to see services taken away from Suffolk and centralised, with added bureaucracy and red tape which are not in the interests of local people.

This newspaper does not shy away from reporting difficult issues and will never be in anybody's pocket.

Football of course holds a special place in the hearts of many thousands of people in Suffolk. The Evening Star backs our club, Ipswich Town, all the way – as no other paper in the land supports its team. And we will continue to do so in the year ahead.

It has been a difficult season so far for the Tractor Boys, but there is no reason to give up hope. It will not be easy, but, even now, we still believe the Blues can turn things around and climb back up that table to avoid relegation.

In many ways this has been a trying year, but the strong spirit of community is still there all around us, as people come together to celebrate the season of peace and goodwill.

It is important to remember that Christmas is a Christian festival and we wish well to all those who are attending church services over the holiday period.

We hope all families will manage to take some time for togetherness, peace and stability – and share in the real spirit of the season.

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