THIS year’s Caledonian Community Christmas Cracker winners were unveiled at Bo’ness Town Hall last Friday, to the great delight and surprise of those receiving giant cheques.
Public votes determined where the generous Caledonian Produce cash handouts - raised via the Bo’ness firm’s staff shop - were distributed.
In top spot, and taking home £2000, was UNISON Kinneil Band/Youth Band of Bo’ness.
They will buy uniforms for the youth band to wear at competitions and events, and also invest in toilet facility upgrades at their Linlithgow Road band hall.
An over-the-moon vice president Brian Holmes and committee member Jim Buchanan thanked their backers.
“This money will go towards tangible results,” said Brian.
“We are delighted to have been involved in this and really appreciate the interest that Caledonian Produce has shown to the community.”
Friends of Chernobyl’s Children Forth Valley, Linlithgow and Bo’ness were second, receiving £1000. This will enable a child from the radiation-hit Ukraine region to stay with local hosts next spring.
Ecstatic coordinator Clare Cotton said: “To bring them here, it’s not just a life experience, it’s life changing and health changing.”
Third placed WRVS Blind and Disabled Club in Bo’ness got £500 towards coach hire costs, for members’ outings.
Club secretary Catherine Ferrier said: “This is wonderful news, it means 2013 will be a good year for us!”
In an extra, surprise gesture, Caledonian Produce also gave £100 to every other finalist for their good causes: Queensferry Churches’ Care in the Community, Queensferry/Kirkliston; 4th West Lothian Scout Group, Linlithgow Bridge; Bo’ness Hospital Garden Project; Salvation Army, Bo’ness; Bo’ness and Carriden Junior Band; Linlithgow Link; Youth Musical Development, Linlithgow; Linlithgow RFC 2020 Vision; Storehouse, Bo’ness.
Acting editor Allan Scott said the Journal and Gazette was indebted to Caledonian Produce for its continued Christmas cracker support.
Jayne Patterson, the firm’s HR manager, said: “We are very proud to sponsor this event.
“We were overwhelmed at the response to this year’s competition.”