Sunday, 9 February 2014

The 99th Garrison collects for Concern Universal - Saturday, 8th February, 2014.

The 99th Garrison was asked to support a group of students from Manchester Metropolitan University who as part of their course work had to demonstrate that they could organise and run events to raise funds for charity.  This was one of their such events and the charity was Concern Universal.  The venue was a Toys R Us store at Great Ancoates in Manchester.
We were to meet at the venue at 09:00 and be in armour from 10:00 until 4:00pm.  This meant leaving home at 06:30 hours, although I did get to the store a little bit early ....08:40 hours but I wasn't the first, as Alan was already there.  We were soon joined by the rest and at about 09:00 hours the staff arrived and opened the store and let us in, showing us our base for the day in the store's rest room and changing room. We were also joined by the students who had organised the event.
Sadly, the event was a very, very quiet one.  The store did not have many customers at all.  I knew the retail park where the store is based from previous trips to Manchester and had not appreciated before today that most of the stores in the complex around it had now closed. This meant that for most of the time, we entertained ourselves with various toys etc but once we had exhausted the supply of new toys, it was difficult to fill the time.
The ball says it all!
We had a break for lunch at about 11:30am and went back out after lunch but the store was still really quiet and we decided during our mid afternoon break at 2:00pm that we would call it a day at 3:00pm.  As it turned out, we actually finished at about 2:40pm.  We de-kitted, had the traditional post troop photo and then set off back home, where I got to about 5:00pm.
It was good to meet new member Mark who crewed for us and to see Chloe doing Jawa again. She has the most excellent sound system making really good Jawa noises.
Pesky Jawa!
Craig came along as well and wore his  x wing pilot costume so we had some Rebel Scum for target practise :-)
Rebel target practise for us!
The store was so quiet that we only collected £117.47.  Sadly, these quiet troops do happen but when you get messages like the one below, it helps to keep things in perspective and the other more busy and profitable charitable events make up for them!
This was as big as me! but very cute!

"Hi everyone. Thankyou for an AMAZING day today. You were all fantastic.  I can't tell you how grateful we are.  We raised £117.47 which I believe is not a lot to you guys but it is great for us.  Thanks again you are worth millions.  Thanks Laura and the Uni gang"

Huge thanks to Dave A, Dave S, Pete, Sharon, Chloe, Andy, Jim, Craig, Mark, Emma, Darran, Chris E, John, Pat, Alan and Chris and to the management of the Toys R Us Store for letting us use their meeting room and staff rooms as our base and changing room for the day.  Also thanks to Carole for bringing us all lunch!  Much appreciated! :-)