Volunteers at the RNLI in St Ives have celebrated reaching the halfway point of a major fundraising campaign.
Nearly £60,000 has been raised in the first eight months of a two-year appeal to secure funding for a launch and recovery vehicle needed for the station’s new Shannon class lifeboat.
In May, the Queen’s visit to St Ives launched the special appeal for the £1million needed for the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat’s purpose-built launching tractor.
Fundraisers in the town are aiming to raise £100,000 towards the cost by the end of 2014.
Suzanne Tanner, St Ives RNLI appeal fundraising chairperson, said the involvement of the community has been the key success to the appeal so far.
She added: “It’s been a phenomenal year; I can’t get over how wonderful and supportive the community has been in helping us reach this point. It’s been a huge team effort and I can’t thank everyone enough, including the fundraising volunteers and the crew, for all their hard work.”
The new Shannon class will offer improved speed and manoeuvrability thanks to updated design techniques and is expected at St Ives in late 2014 when it will replace the station’s current Mersey class lifeboat The Princess Royal.
So far funds have been raised through a variety of events including auctions, quiz nights, coffee mornings, a raft race and station open days.
The annual St Ives Lifeboat Day raised a record £11,000 for the appeal.
Suzanne said she is confident the community will rally behind the appeal as it goes into the second stage.
“We’re now at the half way point, the second half of the appeal is traditionally the hardest as the initial enthusiasm wears off, but I don’t believe this to be true in St Ives. I think the station, the
fundraisers and the local community have the motivation to keep going with a big push to try and reach our target in 2014.”
Anyone with their own fundraising ideas is being asked to contact Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org