Wow! What a day! Perfect weather, beautiful venue, again held at Lavenham Hall courtesy of Kate Denton, and hundreds of people who all enjoyed the array of stalls, cream teas, donkey rides, raffle, tombola and kids entertainment.
Stars of the show were again Barnie, Wilma and Freddie, together with their friends Ed and Em, five stunning miniature donkeys immaculately turned out by Roger and Audrey, proud foster owners.
Sara Turetta, who runs our Romanian holding base and her own charity, Save the Dogs, kindly took time out of her busy schedule to fly over from Milan, where she lives, and spoke to numerous people about her often difficult and challenging work in a poor country. Sara currently has 60 donkeys in residence just outside Cernavoda together with outreach projects which include 4 centres providing donkey assisted therapy to special needs children and adults.
A somewhat surprised Shelagh Steel, who has worked for the Sanctuary for 25 years as a Regional Welfare Officer, was presented with a picture and card by her 'team' to mark her retirement and thank her for her amazing dedication to the countless donkeys that she has helped over the years.
We raised around £2,700 of which half will go directly to Sara in Romania towards the cost of a much needed tractor. This will make life easier for the staff at the holding base in the very cold winters when water has to be moved around for the donkeys and is the start of a fund which needs around £7,000 to make this a reality. The other half raised will go to The Donkey Sanctuary to help the many donkeys currently in its care.
There are far too many people to thank individually but to everybody who helped make this day such a success and gave their time unstintingly, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you. Special thanks must go to Sarah Hardesty for sponsoring the event and also for her amazing support. Sarah has agreed, very bravely, to host a Norfolk Donkey Day at her own home next year!
Little did the iconic Marjorie Newman, who started Donkey Day many years ago in the front room of her house in Lavenham, know how much this event would grow!