The 99th Garrison was asked by management at the Trafford Centre to help out with their celebrations for their Christmas lights switch on on Thursday, 27th October, 2011. This was quite a coup for us to be asked by them and shows that we have been liked by them when we have collected there before in December, 2009 and December 2010 for the Christie Cancer Trust.
We obviously accepted and went about ensuring that we had a good turn out for the event which again included our good friends... the Mint Imperials, including a 7 foot Lord Vader!
We took the opportunity to collect for the Walking with Giants Foundation again and Sue, John and Alex Connerty came along with other collectors from the WWG to help out and Finn came along too with Mel and Paul.. Finn suitably dressed as a young jedi. See www.walkingwithgiants.org\
With the event being on a Thursday and that being a work day I had to leave work at about 2:00pm and then do a two hour drive to the Trafford Centre, arriving there last! I was doing Memah for this event so had to go straight to the ladies to start getting changed and go blue! I'm getting quicker at doing this and can now get ready in about an hour but it feels so rushed... ideally I would have more time to get the make up right and not get so flustered! I did surprise a few members of the Trafford Centre staff though who came in to find a partially blue painted lady in their loos!
The nights entertainment took place on the main stage in the Orient part of the Trafford Centre as seen in "How to Look Good Naked" and was hosted by DJs from Key 103, and included, Alvin and the Chip Monks, Tracey Barlow and Amber Kalirai from Coronation Street, Stars from the new musical version of Dirty Dancing, The Reason 4 and....... Steps!!! I had actually gone for a short break just at the point when Steps were leaving their changing room and H from Steps was well impressed at my costume... sadly though I had taken my lekku/headdress off as I needed a break from its tight grip around my head and he asked me to go and put it on so he could see the complete outfit but then got dragged away by the PR people to go and do something else. Faye from Steps thought that I was the singer from the film The Fifth Element! Lol!
Anyway, the event was very, very well attended and although we weren't on the stage with the Stars we were the Stars of the Orient's Bandstand for the night and we were kept very, very busy and boy, was it hot!!! The total raised on the night was an awesome £951.16!!!!
A huge thank you to:
Paul - Royal Guard, Jim - Stormtrooper, Craig - Sandtrooper, Chris - Scout Trooper, David - Scout trooper, Paul - Snowtrooper, Paul - Lord Vader, Tony - R2D2, Phil - Boba Fett, Stacey - Scout Trooper, Rich - Stormtrooper, Ken - Sandtrooper and Dave - Tie Pilot ... apoligies if I've missed anyone off! and also huge thanks to the Trafford Centre [especially Alison Reid], and to Mel and Finn and to Sue, Alex and John Connerty and all the WWG helpers... and Paul for crewing and taking photos for me.
Then.... on Sunday 30th October, the 99th was asked to help out at the Buxton Toy Fayre at the Palace Hotel in Buxton.... this being only a ten minute drive from base is a first for us! The event came in with only about 2 weeks notice and with everything else that has been happening in terms of events we were only able to manage three troopers; that being me, Jim and Paul and Rhys - Paul's son - as crew.... seen here having a break!
As it turned out, it was just as well that we only had three troopers and we all lived fairly local to the event venue as it was very, very, very quiet and poorly attended. We collected for Dreamflight at this event and I think that we will be lucky to have collected £5.00!!! However, there had been another event on Saturday, 29th in Gateshead which I did not attend [hence no blog from me] but where we did collect for Dreamflight and in total, including the money from Buxton Toy Fayre, we had £86.89 in the collection buckets.
All in all, a very busy few days and more of the same to come over the next few weeks and during the run up to Christmas.