Elmer auction raises £143,550 for Blackpool children’s hospice

Elmer’s Big Parade Blackpool came to an epic conclusion at Blackpool Tower, as the large sculptures and some surprise lots raised £143,550 for Brian House Children’s Hospice.

In a night full of highs, bidders who were both in the room at the Tower’s Fifth Floor and watching online, dug deep in their efforts to buy one of the unique pieces of art inspired by David McKee’s Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, which brought smiles to thousands of faces during the eight-week art trail.

The top seller of the night was Elmer’s Book Bench, which not only fetched an astonishing £8,000, but generous bidders in the room clubbed together to pay an additional £10,000 to have another bench specially made for the children at Brian House.

After an emotional evening, the charity’s Chief Executive, David Houston, said: “We are absolutely blown away by the generousity of the people who joined us for the auction, whether they were in the room on the night or watching and bidding online, who raised a phenomenal amount of money.

“We’re delighted that all of our sculptures fetched incredible hammer prices, giving a great number of people a lasting legacy of the fun and vibrancy we brought to Blackpool. But more importantly, the money raised last night will make a mammoth difference to local families who need us – their local hospice – for vital care and support.

“We can’t thank enough everyone who made a bid on the night, our incredible sponsors who made the trail happen along with more than 30 local schools and youth organisations who joined our Learning Programme, our event partners Wild in Art and Andersen Press for being with us every step of an absolutely wonderful journey.”

Brian House nurses Annabel Bromilow and Amanda Harrison spoke at the auction about the difference the art trail will make to local families.

Annabel said: “It was such an amazing night, and a very special evening to be part of.

“We can’t put into words how it felt to see people continue to raise their paddles and bid online, and to announce the total at the end of the night was a wonderful moment we won’t forget.

“That much money means so much to us all at Brian House, where we have the priviledge to care for some amazing children who are so reslient against the challenges they face every day. To be able to provide our expert care and support to them and their families is very fullfilling, but only possible thanks to the generousity of people like all those we met last night.”

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder, Wild in Art said: “It’s great to see that the Elmer sculptures will now go to their forever homes while leaving a lasting legacy through the funds raised for Brian House Children’s Hospice. A lot of hard work has gone into the trail and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved, from the auction bidders to everyone who has supported Elmer’s Big Parade Blackpool over the summer.”

As well as the auction, money has been raised during the trail through dedicated trail and Elmer merchandise, raffle tickets sales, the Learning Programme schools fundraising efforts, donations and tickets to the Farewell Weekend.

A final total for Elmer’s Big Parade Blackpool is still to be announced.

The art trail has been supported by Presenting Partners Thompson Contracts and Ameon, Learning Programme Sponsor Tower Insurance and Official Supporters Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL), Beaverbrooks, Partington’s Holiday Parks, RSS Events and Blackpool Council.


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