Martin Read – Reporter
Horsham district families and those from much further afield were treated to a wide variety of dance, drama and music activities – and much, much more at the Rotary Club of Horsham’s annual bumper Funday Sunday event in Horsham Park last Sunday. The huge, free entry day out attracted an enormous, enthusiastic crowd revelling in top entertainment in superb high summer weather. Last year the estimated attendance was 12,000 and Sunday’s crowd was thought to have been even bigger, Rotary Club Secretary Dave Smith saying: “Funday Sunday is our biggest event and it was particularly heart-warming to be able to invite families with special needs children to have exclusive use of the funfair – for the entire family – from 10am until noon. Upwards of 1,000 came along to that and it went extremely well. Bensons opened early especially for these families and we are deeply indebted to Mark and Lillian Benson and their staff for giving their time, and the rides, so generously, which was much appreciated by everyone participating.” Lillian added: “We were very happy to do this and it’s very rewarding for us to give these children 2 hours of fabulous free fun!”
With the party in full swing, in addition to the funfair, other activities included Kidz Zone circus arts training, a community stage, including a visit from HAODS in Peter Pan mode, a Kapow wrestling show, a Charity Market with stalls for cakes and many other attractive local products, sports and display arenas, community and business exhibitor stands, Olive Tree massages, a coconut shy, lucky dips and all the fun of the fair, including scrumptious street food and bars dispensing Hepworth’s speciality brews and all manner of summer favourites.
The Rotary Club of Horsham is part of the Rotary International movement supporting local and global community events. Horsham Rotary is especially active, providing fun and entertainment, and money raised at Funday Sunday will fund their main Making a Difference programme facilitating the provision of small grants – typically less than £500 – to local families and individuals in short term need. Such grants are unencumbered by conditions and, in emergency circumstances, can be supplied quickly, applications usually coming through organisations such as churches and Social Services. Among other activities, the Rotary also support youth programmes, including the opportunity for young people to undertake placements at home and abroad. An important element of the Funday Sunday was the raffle with 38 fantastic prizes donated by many local businesses, to whom the Rotary are especially grateful, and they also give sincere thanks to Horsham’s residents for their support and to the Funday sponsors – Wakefields Jewellers, Mannings Heath Golf Club, Leonardslee Gardens, Haven/Isuzu, Brock Taylor, Henfield Hire, Weald Living and Horsham District Council.
Facebook posts included richly deserved high praise for Benson’s and the Rotary Club of Horsham for laying on such a wonderful day with comments such as: “Brilliant!” – “A fabulous job by Rotary” – “Highlight of our year” – “Can’t wait for Funday Sunday 2019!”