Bexhill Christmas lights fundraising ‘needs more support’

Shining Lights managing director Michael Matthews as Santa Claus and his son David as Mickey Mouse at last years Christmas Extravaganza. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-150512-105125001

Shining Lights managing director Michael Matthews as Santa Claus and his son David as Mickey Mouse at last years Christmas Extravaganza. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-150512-105125001

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The volunteers behind Bexhill’s Christmas lights are pleading for people to get behind them and donate towards this year’s decorations.

Shining Lights estimates it needs to raise another £5,000 in six weeks to pay for the street lights and switch-on event on December 2.

The volunteer group needs around £25,000 to put it on but even after a £13,500 council grant, and £6,000 already pledged, more is needed.

Managing director Michael Matthews has extra incentive to improve on last year as he is organising it in memory of his son, David, who died at the beginning of September.

“I feel inspired to do it in his memory, at first I wouldn’t go out as I found it difficult to lose him,” he said.

“But one of the last things he did was to give me a fiver for the Christmas lights and I promised to put on the best lights for Bexhill.”

At last year’s switch-on, David helped entertain the 10,000 spectators in a Mickey Mouse suit along with Michael as Santa Claus.

Although more was needed last year, the enthusiasm and generosity of businesses and the public was much greater than this time, Michael said.

Only £170 has been donated on its GoFundMe page and he said more people need to donate or else there will not be any Christmas lights.

“If every family in Bexhill gave a fiver then it would mean we could put on more events in the future but if people don’t work with us then there won’t be any. They complain there was nothing and then expect it to happen for free,” he said.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/2rgycqw4.

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