Superheroes, red monsters and topless men were among the scores of people who came together across the district to do something funny for money in aid of Comic Relief.
Not even the bad weather could dampen the charity spirit which was in full flow on Friday, March 15 for Red Nose Day with locals, schools and businesses taking part in bush tucker trials, leg shaving and Harlem Shakes to help transform lives across Africa and the UK.
“Despite the snow at the start of the week, we still had plenty of intrepid staff and members supporting this great initiative,” explained Andy McNiven, general manager at Slinfold Golf and Country Club.
The club battled last week’s wintry weather to raise more than £800, holding a number of events including a cake sale, supplying ‘red food specials’ and holding dressing-up days before culminating in the grand finale of a nine- hour cycling ‘Spinathon’ while wearing pyjamas.
Andy added: “We’ve all enjoyed taking part and I think the members have enjoyed seeing us letting our hair down for a change.”
Zane Fitzgerald, 26, and Ben Davie, 23, two personal trainers from Crawley, also battled the elements when they went topless in the Carfax on a whim raising £104 in just 45 minutes.
Many schools also enjoyed a fun-filled day doing their bit for the cause which is in its 25th year.
The Year 5 and 6 class at William Penn in Coolham became superheroes after being inspired by their topic of ‘Friends and Heroes’, with their total raised still being counted.
Steyning Grammar School Sixth Form College students and teachers wore friendly red monster outfits and held a catwalk, karaoke, red-nosed gingerbread men sale, leg waxing and the ‘dreaded’ baked bean bath.
Year 7 also ran a One Direction dance-off, Year 8 did a Harlem Shake and on Thursday, September 21 further money for Comic Relief will be raised with a student led gala night.
The sixth form raised more than £1600 with a further £2800 raised by Years 7 to 11.
Leechpool Primary School, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, raised £917.16 by holding a bake sale with hundreds of donated cakes, with some pupils completing a sponsored run around the school’s well-being walk and others managing a sponsored silence completing the whole school day without saying a word.
Paula Cavallo, teaching assistant at Leechpool Primary School, said: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support from our brilliant pupils, parents and staff.”
Heron Way Primary School contributed by wearing as much red as possible, held a special assembly and sung the Red Nose Day song.
Pupils at Castlewood School, Southwater, swapped their blue school uniform for red clothing with some children developing a case of ‘measles’ while others had large red noses which raised a total of £180.
For a small donation, the children of Littlehaven Infant School came to school wearing something red including red hair and took part in challenges with chopsticks, balloons, hoola hoops and straw sucking raising £97.
This year also saw the Harlem Shake as a popular fundraising choice with Lifestyle Kia, part of the Lifestyle Europe Group in Horsham, sporting red wigs and noses while dancing around their cars and Generate Youth Club in Storrington were in fancy dress for their version of the viral video.
The youth club also held a bush tucker trial with some unusual foods including snails at their Comic Relief evening in the Trinity Methodist Hall.
Rosedale Care Home in Horsham donated £250 after taking part in a Red Nose tea party, a raffle and tombola with two staff members sponsored to wear something outrageous.
As well as raising and donating £432 themselves, 70 members of staff at Southern Housing Group, Horsham gave up a total of 420 hours of their time and pushed through £39,837 worth of donations as one of the 150 call centres across the country.
The Comic Relief call centre manager said: “The Southern Housing Group have helped us to keep our costs down and ensure that every penny raised through Red Nose Day goes towards helping transform the lives of people dealing with poverty and social injustice.”
Staff at Strada in East Street, Horsham, dressed up and decorated their restaurant and donated their tips from the day.
Wabi in Horsham gathered just under £100 by serving two special cocktails on Friday with 50p donated for every ‘follow your nose’ cocktail ordered and 25p for every ‘Amaranth’ non alcoholic cocktail ordered.
Customers to Sainsbury’s in Horsham were treated to a day of Comic Relief challenges including moving Maltesers from one bowl to another with chopsticks and eating the most doughnuts in two minutes.
B52’s in Piries Place had staff in stocks outside the bar all in the name of charity with members of the public also able to get involved.
Zumba Sussex donated money from its class at Millais School.
On April 12, Splendid Occasions will be hosting the ‘Let’s Barn Dance for Comic Relief’ at The Barn in The Causeway, Horsham, from 7pm until 11pm. Tickets are £12.50 adults only and are available from Pretty Things, Park Place, Horsham.
The effort across the district helped contribute to the mammoth total of more than £75 million, smashing 2011’s record £74.3 million.
More Comic Relief fun: Pages 81 and 91