Questions over future of fundraising Gala Week

PUBLISHED: 10:24 16 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:24 16 April 2015

Archant

This year’s Budleigh Salterton Gala Week could be ‘the last as we know it’, unless more groups and charities come forward to run events, organisers have warned.

The build-up to this year’s Gala Week, which will be held between May 23 and May 31, has kicked off in earnest this week with the publication of the event programme, detailing all the fun activities and entertainment on offer.

However, Budleigh Salterton Lions Club, which coordinates the week, is having to run more and more of these events by itself, as other charities and groups pull out.

With the Lions under ever-increasing strain, club president and Gala Week chairman Geoff Paver says that if more do not come forward to run events next year, things will have to change.

He said: “We are filling gaps, and that wasn’t the idea. The idea of the week was we would coordinate on behalf of the charities, for the charities to raise money for themselves.

“There comes a limit to what we can do ourselves. The town council very generously give us the Public Hall for a week at a reduced rate, and if we’re not getting people to use it, then we can’t go on like this. We would have to shorten the week or something.

“We are doing at least six events this year ourselves, and that’s not on.”

The Lions will be asking interested organisations to attend a meeting at Budleigh Salterton Football Club on September 23 at 7pm, at which it will gauge the level of interest before planning next year’s event.

Geoff says the situation is not helped by the Lions now being short of members themselves, and he is also appealing for new people to join the club.

He said: “We are supposed to have 20 members. We’ve gone down to 16. If we don’t get new members, we’re going to have to curb what we do.”

Geoff says the club could particularly do with younger members familiar with modern technology.

Anyone interested in joining the Lions is asked to call membership chairman Adrian Oakes on 01395 274545.

The Gala Week programme, which contains full details of all the events to be held, is now on sale at Jottys, Reflections, The Card Shop Too, Budleigh Salterton Tourist Information Centre, Greenway Stores and East Budleigh Community Shop, priced at £1.

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