Stomping start for Horsham’s Elephantastic campaign

Elephantastic herd in Swan Walk
Elephantastic herd in Swan Walk

Horsham’s Elephantastic campaign has got off to a stomping start with one participant completing the trails in just two days.

The charity campaign, run by Horsham Rotary, was launched in the Carfax on July 26 and has attracted a lot of attention over the past two weeks.

185 painted model elephants have been created by more than 100 organisations and scattered across the district in three separate trails.

Members of the public have been challenged to hunt down these elephants, record their names and enter the list to win a host of prizes including a family trip to an elephant orphanage in Kenya.

Two of the trails are based in Horsham town centre whilst the third has been spread across towns and villages throughout the district.

Ella Hamlin, from Southwater, completed all three trails in the first two days.

The 14-year-old took selfies with each of the 185 elephants and posted her adventures on the Elephantastic Facebook page.

She said: “It was great fun doing the trails. I loved seeing all the elephants and the designs are so creative. You can really see that a lot of effort has gone into each one.”

John LeRossignol, from Horsham Rotary, added:“We are thrilled with the success of the trails so far and a huge congratulations goes to Ella who completed them in record time.

“It was great to see her photos of the elephants and we would love others to have a go at completing all three trails and taking selfies as they go.

“We are so pleased with the response we have had so far and anyone interested in bidding on an elephant can now do so via our website.”

Each elephants is supporting an individual charity with 66 different organisations being backed in this years campaign.

The competition will close on August 31 and the elephants will be auctioned off to raise more money for charity.

25 per cent of the proceeds will go towards International wildlife charity Born Free Foundation, who are partnering this years event, and the money will be used to help build Europe’s first elephant sanctuary in Tuscany.

The remaining funds will be shared amongst the other 65 charities.

The Elephantastic shop has also been launched in Swan Walk Shopping Centre (next to the EE Store) offering limited edition merchandise such as T-shirts and wrist bands.

As well as the shop the centre is also hosting an elephant pen with dozens of hand-crafted elephants including a six foot woolly mammoth created by PMW Communications to highlight the need to protect elephants so they do not go extinct like their ancestors.

Centre Manager Gill Buchanan said: “We are delighted to be supporting Elephantastic and to be hosting a huge elephant pound within the centre this summer.”

“Working with the wider community is at the core of what we do at the shopping centre and to be able to support our local colleagues at the Born Free Foundation and Horsham Rotary whilst creating such a fun destination for all our younger customers is both rewarding and huge fun.”

Swan Walk has also welcomed another new addition with ‘The Intelligent Elephant that never forgets to wake you up in time’ joining the centre’s herd.

The new member was created by eight-year-olds Emily, Maddie and Charlotte as part of Hack Horsham’s entry for the Festival of Code.

The elephant is a fully functional digital alarm clock which reacts to weather, daylight and temperature and will be part of a separate competition.

Visitors need to discover the elephants name by scanning it and email the answer to collaborate@hackhorsham.org.uk (to be included in the prize draw be sure to put the name of the Elephant in the Subject line and to include your contact details in the message body).

All trail maps and entry forms can be purchased for £1 from the Elephantastic Shop in Swan Walk Shopping Centre.

The rural trail map can also be purchased at various locations on the route and can be download from the website.

To donate to the campaign pop into the shop in Swan Walk or visit http://www.elephantastic.org.uk/

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