A RECORD amount of cash has been raised for charities through this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival.
A total of £21,000 was handed out to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), the Jon Egging Trust and Hounds for Heroes at an event held to thank the armed forces yesterday at the Highcliff Marriott Hotel.
They received £7,000 each thanks to sales of the air festival brochure, which was produced by the Daily Echo and Bournemouth Tourism, and through £2,000 raised by the Patrons’ Scheme, made up of businesses that support the event.
Each brochure sold saw a £1 donation to the charities and this year’s funds were completed by a £500 contribution from the Daily Echo and Yellow Buses Carbon Stoppers initiative.
Jon Weaver, air festival director, said: “We set a target of £20,000 this year, so to have exceeded it we owe a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed.”
Allen Parton, who set up Hounds for Heroes to provide assistance dogs to injured servicemen and women, said the support was “humbling”.
He added: “Most of all, the message everyone in Bourne-mouth is sending out to those 900,000 injured servicemen and women and to those on the front line is that you care.”
The charity has named one of its dogs Red Four in memory of Flt Lt Jon Egging, who died when his jet crashed after a Red Arrows display at the 2011 air festival.
Allen said that Red Four was now embarking on a six-month probation period as his training continued.
Malcolm Jefferies, accepting the cash on behalf of the Jon Egging Trust, said its Blue Skies programme was helping youngsters at Glenmoor and Winton Schools and was making a “tremendous difference”.
For the RNRMC, Hugh Thompson added: “A huge thank you to all that you’ve done and continue to do to fund us.”
The 2014 Bournemouth Air Festival takes place between Thursday, August 28 and Sunday, August 31.