|FUN DAY 2019 REVIEW
Saturday 10 August 2019
What a rollercoaster! At the beginning of the year it looked very likely that the Fun Day would no longer happen. After the resignation of Louise Shenston and Julie Glover there was no one in place to take up the reins.
OGAFCA hosted a volunteers evening in the hope that someone would step forward, but, whilst many of our loyal volunteers were more than happy to help there was no appetite to take over the organisation. Following that, at an emergency meeting with David Coppinger, our local councillor, the decision was made that this event was too important to the community, and local charities, to be allowed to die. A committee was formed, led by the OGAFCA committee, Bill Collier, Barbara Frame, Alison Brayshaw, Paula Grevett and Trish Pottinger, and joined by David Coppinger, Val Lord and Shirley Chamberlain. It was then all hands to the pump to get the wheels back in motion.
Armed with the splendid blueprint provided by Louise and Julie, the marquees and portaloos were ordered, attractions were booked, and the volunteers were contacted and called to arms. It really looked as though the Fun Day was coming together.
The week before the event the weather was warm and sunny, the plans were coming together but then, suddenly, the weather turned against us. The Met office were issuing warnings of storm conditions and damaging winds. On the Wednesday night we were advised it would be dangerous to put the marquees up, the fairground rides said they could not operate. We were facing disaster! Another emergency meeting was held. We made the bold decision to move the whole event to the Sunday.
We had two days to re-book everything. Unfortunately, not everyone could accommodate the change. Thank Goodness, the Animal show and the dog show were still available. Mr Chris, the Punch & Judy man, rearranged his diary to help us, and Jay Wizbiz, the children’s entertainer turned up at a day’s notice. Rod Lord did an amazing job adjusting all our banners to show the revised date. The press were fantastic, and Radio Berkshire gave us some great publicity.
Sunday arrived, warm and breezy but generally calm. We erected out gazebos, set up our stalls, got all our wonderful volunteers in place and then we all held our breath, crossed our fingers, stroked our lucky charms and then said a few prayers in the hope that people would turn up! AND THEY DID! A record crowd came along and had a thoroughly good day. The atmosphere was terrific with everyone determined to enjoy themselves. The train broke all records and we sold out of burgers and cakes! It was a wonderful day.
After costs we raised over £5,000 and were able to present cheques of £2,000 each to both of our main charities; The Autism Group and Starfish Swimming Club.
So many people deserve medals for their help and support. This was very much a community event and without the amazing volunteers it would not have been a success and, indeed, it wouldn’t have happened at all. We cannot possibly list everyone, but I hope you know who you are!
Next year the Fifield Fun Day will take place on Sunday 2nd August. Put the date in your diaries – it will be a great day out!