Make-A-Wish Foundation UK

Chris and Julie Clark's Christmas display for the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK at their house in Meadow Farm Lane, Horsham
Chris and Julie Clark's Christmas display for the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK at their house in Meadow Farm Lane, Horsham

A Christmas light switch-on at a Horsham home which attracted hundreds of people last Friday, November 23, raised more than £1,500.

Chris and Julie Clark, of 4 Meadow Farm Lane in Horsham, are on their seventh Christmas extravaganza for charity with all funds this year going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.

Chris said: “The switch-on couldn’t have gone any better. It was an absolutely fantastic evening.

“We had a count-up of how much we raised and it came to £1,520 just on the opening night which is £1,000 up on the previous year, which is down to us doing a raffle where we sold 1,000 tickets at £1 a piece.

“We had 16 fantastic prizes up for grabs including a one night stay for two people at the famous South Lodge Hotel in Lower Beeding and two tickets to go and see a Brighton & Hove Albion home game.”

The event took place from 6.45pm when mulled wine, mince pies and shortbread were supplied to a crowd estimated to be 400 people.

A snow machine, Christmas music, chimineas for warmth and Horsham magician David Stewart were also at the event to get everyone into the festive spirit.

Chris added: “It went on until about ten and most of the neighbours from the street were there too - they love it.”

The lights, which took two weeks to put up, will be switched on between 4.30pm and midnight and 6.30am until 8am every day until January 6 when all are welcome to view.

The display has raised nearly £4,000 in the past six years with the first five raising a total of £1,844.50 for Cancer Research UK.

However last year, in one Christmas appeal, Chris and Julie managed to raise £2,118 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.

Chris said: “We saw a documentary on the Make-A-Wish Foundation and it really tugged at our heart strings.

“We’ve done it for Cancer Research, which is another cause very dear to our heart, but after seeing what fantastic work they do in making dreams come true for terminally ill children we thought we’d raise a bit of money for them.”

Chris estimates that the Christmas display charity collection could beat last year’s total by the end of the weekend.

He added: “We’d just like to thank everyone who came along and donated, those who worked behind the scenes and to those who provided us with such fantastic raffle prizes.

“It’s been a relatively big charity event and it’s still getting bigger!”