“The sun shines on the righteous”, so we’re told, especially in August. So, true to form, the sun shone on the righteous members and supporters of the Horticultural Golfing Society as they gathered at The Royal Automobile Club’s 350-acre Woodcote Park estate, Epsom, Surrey, to raise funds for Greenfingers Charity.
With fine weather and reasonable winds high scores abounded from the 20 teams drawn from the gardening and horticultural industries including GIMA, Decco, Hilliers and Westland. Andy Bunker’s team from Alton Garden Centre in Essex won the team prize, but the real winner overall was Greenfingers Charity, the unique organisation that designs and build gardens in the grounds of Children’s Hospices.
Thanks to some wizard organisation by the Horticultural Golfing Society’s Derek Richardson and his son Ian, both Directors of Garsons Garden Centres of Esher, Surrey and Titchfield, Hampshire, the day raised a massive sum of £7000.
No strangers in creating excitement in their garden centres and the local areas including Hunt for Dory and her Friends, Heavy Horses display and supporting their local West End Village Show, Ian and Derek brought the same flair to provide fun and excitement for everyone who took part.
The success of the day was in no small way due the generous sponsorships from the NFU Mutual, Hodges, John Deere, Compass, IFSE, Scotts & Westland all suppliers of goods and services to the horticultural industry.
The golfing was marked by a competition at the short 13th hole which offered a prize of a Mini car to anyone who achieved a hole in one. Golfers also had the opportunity to win a sleeve of golf balls at this point, they had to donate £5 and then land on the green to win the balls. A lot of balls were won. Sadly Amreek Sachdev, who was closest to the hole, missed driving away the four-wheeled prize sponsored by A J K Woodflooring, Bishops Stortford, Herts by just a matter of inches.
Amazingly funds were also raised during dinner when a hungry and charitable guest of Martyn Dewhurst the Society’s Captain, a Mr Colin Brown, donated £10 to enjoy the bread roll from the plate of Linda Petrons, Greenfingers’ Chief Fundraiser. Linda was even more than a little surprised to witness some very generous bidding for future rounds of golf, a holiday for 4 donated by Martyn Dewhurst and a set of garden furniture provided by Hartman. A total of nearly £3000 was raised from the auction thanks to the generosity of sponsors and the wit and wisdom of auctioneer for the night, Ian Richardson.
The raffle raised a very generous £1200 thanks to the selling skills of Linda Petrons, Derek’s wife, Pam and guest, Claude-May Heath. Greenfingers Chairman, John Ashley reminded guests about the serious nature of the work carried out by all the supporters of Greenfingers Charity.
Members of the Society and their guests left for home having enjoyed a wonderful day in support of a worthy cause.