Over 80 local residents enjoyed the annual Community Christmas Lunch at Newquay’s Sandy Lodge Hotel, organised by Towan Blystra Lions Club – but this year, in addition to the appearance of Santa, there was a special surprise.
Tickets for the event went on sale during mid-November at £8 each, to provide a welcome drink, two course turkey meal plus mince pies and clotted cream, wine with the meal, a round of bingo and entertainment from Paula Marcelis. However, through a post on social media, one generous individual along with many other members of the public who were not attending, donated towards the costs of the event meaning that the Lions could put the party on free of any charge – therefore guests were greeted on arrival and given their entry money back. Whilst really grateful for this generosity, many opted to use the unexpected windfall to buy raffle tickets, thereby putting the money back into the community fund to help others. 
Lion President, Jill Bunt, who addressed everyone attending after the meal thanked the many others who had helped support the arranging of the event. In addition to The Sandy Lodge Hotel, these included Morrisons, David Ball Agencies, Newquay TIC and Newquay Lions who had provided transport with drivers in their minibus, along with other individual  supporters.
“It was great to run this important community event again after two years during which it didn’t take place because of COVID, said Jill. 
“It gives the opportunity for members of our town to get together in social groups and, in quite a few cases, enjoy company that they would not normally have in a fun Christmas environment.
“The fact that we received such an outpouring of generosity this year, which meant all our costs plus more were covered, means that we can also give additional support to groups like Newquay Foodbank and DISC  and DISC in the future.”
A special thanks to Mrs Bickers & Little Western Railway for their contribution of crackers & wine.
Images courtesy of Towan Blystra Lions