Organisers of the annual Ampthill Fireworks spectacular have raised £120,000 for local charities since a group of residents took over the event seven years ago.
Committee chairman, Liz Perry will proudly hand over donations to dozens of groups and charities around the county next week.
From local Girl Guiding and Scouting groups in Ampthill, CHUMS, Tommy’s Footprints and the Handicapped Riding Association to Bedford Hospital Harpur Ward, East Anglian Air Ambulance and Bedford Food Bank, organisers say they are “chuffed to bits” to have been able to raise so much to help so many good causes in Bedfordshire and the East Anglian region.
And they say they have been bowled over by the incredible support from people attending to make it a landmark event in the Ampthill community calendar.
Liz said: “We are so proud to have raised so much for charity. This year, the total amount raised by us since we took over has reached £120,000.
“We first took over the event in 2011 and since then it’s gone from strength to strength. Our turnout has risen from 3,500 in year one to more than 6,000 in 2017. We hope 2018 will be even bigger and better.”
Ampthill Fireworks, whose main sponsors are Indigo Residential and Ampthill Fireplaces, is very much a community affair.
The current committee has 12 members with a further 80 volunteers helping on the actual night. Many of the local Brownies, Guides, Scouts and Air Cadets then help out the next day picking up litter.
The event, held in Ampthill Park, is a safe and reasonably priced family event with hot food stalls as well as fairground rides.
Liz added she couldn’t believe how much the event has grown. She said: “I can remember the first year where it was very hand to mouth.
“We had taken it over from a local service organisation and we used personal credit cards to pay for major items desperately hoping we would sell enough tickets to cover our costs.
“It’s so wonderful to be able to donate any money made from the event to such fantastic and worthwhile causes. We are thrilled to bits.”
lThe next annual Ampthill Fireworks will be held on Friday, November 2. For more information about helping, visit www.ampthillfireworks.co.uk