THERE was a double celebration at a pub as more than £16,000 was given to charity and the pub’s many Christmas lights turned on.
An evening of fun and festivities took place at The Fareham in Trinity Street, Fareham, on Friday to mark the occasion.
Publican Martin Munns and his wife Diane have helped scores of charities through their own cause set up last year called Fareham In Need, which has raised more than £16,000 for local appeals.
But Martin was quick to thank his customers for their hard work.
He said: ‘I’m always so proud of the efforts of our customers and they get behind every campaign we do.
‘Every time we finish one they ask what’s happening next. It’s something we have tried to install here – that this is a community pub.’
At the event was seven-year-old Harland Bray and his family, from Stubbington, for whom the pub raised £5,000 for in just 42 days to help buy an assistance dog as Harland has severe autism.
The pub held a darts night that was attended by world number 11 Simon Whitlock as well as meat raffles and quiz nights, and the target was finally reached after a mammoth 25-hour sponsored pool-and-dart-athon.
Harland’s mum Vickie said: ‘I can’t put it into words, when they told me I just burst into tears.
‘There are people who are donating and getting involved who have never met us or Harland and they are giving up their time and money – it’s just humbling.
‘You sometimes don’t appreciate that spirit until it comes your way and I am honestly overwhelmed.’
Due to Harland’s condition, a specialised assistance dog is desperately needed as Vickie sometimes has difficulties when carrying out tasks with Harland – but all that is about to change.
She said: ‘This is going to make such a huge difference to us as a family.’
Fareham mayor Mike Ford and his wife Anne handed the family the cheque, and turned the pub’s Christmas lights on.
The pub has donated 36 Christmas food parcels, plus £400 of food, to the Salvation Army. It made donations to the recently-vandalised St Francis Special School and Kids charity in Fareham.