Last week saw the first official gathering of Elmer’s Early Bird Herd, an exclusive group of sponsors who have pledged to donate an additional £31,500 to Ipswich charity St Elizabeth Hospice through their own fundraising efforts.
The nine Early Bird companies have each pledged to fundraise an additional £3,500 over the next 18 months, in addition to their sponsorship of an Elmer statue. And this is a minimum target, with many companies setting their fundraising sights even higher!
Paul Ager, Divisional Port Manager at ABP, who hosted this morning’s event, explains why this is a campaign they are keen to support: “St Elizabeth Hospice touches so many hearts and is a charity that is meaningful to people right across our workforce. Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk provides a fantastic opportunity to get involved in local fundraising, having fun at the same time as really making an impact – not only for charity but also for our business, helping us to better engage with our local community. We thoroughly enjoyed sponsoring Ipswich Blue and being part of Pigs Gone Wild; we find these trails are the perfect way to be part of something really special for our town.”
The nine Early Bird Herd companies are: ABP, Ashton Legal, Coes, Homestyle Windows, Ipswich Buses, Ipswich Glass, Isaacs, Larking Gowen and Wyards Removals.
Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk said: “We are so pleased to be able to work alongside these nine companies and I’m really excited to see what kind of initiatives they come up with over the next 18 months. We thought £3,500 was an ambitious target to set but we were obviously forgetting how competitive some of our parade sponsors are; all I can say is watch this space for some fantastic fundraising!”
‘Pigs Gone Wild’ attracted around 250,000 visitors to Ipswich and boosted the local economy by an estimated £1 million. It raised £200,000 for the hospice – enough to fund one week’s care – and is a highlight of the hospice’s busy fundraising calendar.
Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since the first book was published by Andersen Press in 1989. A modern classic, this picture book is known to millions, and the entire Elmer series has sold over 8 million copies around the world. The subtle inclusive message is that it is ‘OK to be different’.
Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk comes to Ipswich from June to September, bringing 50 large and 100 small Elmers to discover around the town.