BOURNEMOUTH Red Arrows Association has topped the £200,000 mark for donations to charity as it celebrates its 20th year.
The group, which was set up to bring the legendary aerobatic team to the town in 1994, handed over cash to forces charity Hounds for Heroes at its latest meeting at Bournemouth Flying Club.
It means that the association’s charitable contributions have now flown past the £200,000 barrier – meaning it has given away £10,000 a year on average.
Allen Parton, who set up Hounds for Heroes, a charity that provides assistance dogs to wounded servicemen and women like himself, was guest speaker at the meeting and received the cheque from the association’s chairman, Terry Trevett.
Both groups are closely tied to Bournemouth Air Festival, where the Red Arrows have been the big highlight since the event began in 2008.
Terry said it was an inspiring evening, hearing Allen’s story of how he suffered a severe head injury in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, which set him on a path to establishing the charity.
Terry added: “I honestly cannot find words to say how I felt. There was not a dry eye in the house. I don’t think many people will forget the evening.”
He said around 70 members and guests attended the association’s 224th meeting and the £700 given to Hounds for Heroes marked a milestone for BRAA.
“When we started the association in 1994 our simple hope was to get the Reds back the next year, but this is how it’s worked out.
“We can look back on what we’ve managed so far with huge pride. People are so hugely delighted with how it has gone.”
On June 28 the association is holding an event at Bournemouth Aviation Museum to celebrate its 20th anniversary and also the 50th year of the Red Arrows team.
The fun day runs from 10am to 5pm.