Community / Aith Lifeboat fundraising goes online again

Aith lifeboat. Photo: Shetland News

THE AITH Lifeboat gala day has been cancelled again due to the coronavirus pandemic – but individuals and businesses have been invited to donate prizes to an online fundraising auction.

It mirrors what happened last year when over £5,500 was raised through online bidding.

Anyone who can donate an auction prize is asked to contact Laura Nicolson or Irene Simpson (through Facebook Messenger) or by emailing the Aith Lifeboat Station on aith@rnli.org.uk.

Committee member Frances Moffat said: “We’ll all miss the usual gala festivities for the second year in a row, but keeping our fundraising efforts online is the only sensible decision under the current circumstances.

“The Aith Lifeboat continues to do important work saving lives at sea. Because the lifeboat is based here, we see just how often it gets called on to help folk all around Shetland. Last year’s online auction was a great success, and we’re hopeful that the level of support from the wider community can continue.”

Aith lifeboat coxswain John Roberson. Photo: RNLI

The gala event had been running on an annual basis since 1972, as a celebration of the Aith community and its ties to the RNLI. It usually raises around £6,000 for the local lifeboat station every year.

Aith coxswain John Robertson said: “The RNLI is very lucky to have such a supportive community here in Aith, and across the whole of Shetland.

“We’re always grateful for the fantastic public support, and a big thanks to all of our local fundraising team.

“Next year will mark 50 years since our Gala Day started, so we look forward to those celebrations.”

It is hoped that the online auction – which will be run through Facebook – will open for bidding from 9am on Friday 4 June, closing at 9pm on Sunday 6 June.

Depending on Covid restrictions at the time, the organising committee also hopes to offer takeaway suppers from the Aith Hall between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on Saturday 5 June.

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