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Honour for hard working Helstonians
11:20am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in Cornwall
Two of Helston’s hardest working members have been honoured with town plaques.
Mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby recognised the efforts of Margaret Fitter of Cancer Funding for Cornwall and Robert Williams, chairman of Helston Christmas Lights Committee, in a special presentation.
Both are dedicated to their work benefitting the community of Helston and the wider area. Reports of their activities can be found online at thepacket.co.uk Mrs Fitter and her team of helpers have raised more than £1 million for cancer patients in the county since she first started her £1 charity rail in 1989, outside her dress agency in the old Helston Arcade.
It proved so popular that Margaret, then a Marie Curie nurse, expanded it to a whole shop next door.
On retirement from her dress agency, in 1998, she renamed it Fashion With Compassion, a charity. By that stage she had raised about £250,000, in just six years.
It was in July 1999 that Margaret relocated from the arcade into the shop in Coinagehall Street, named Cancer Funding for Cornwall.
By June last year the shop reached a major milestone, when it announced it had raised enough to hand out more than £1 million.
Sadly, Margaret was forced to close the shop in January this year, when ill health forced her retirement and she was unable to find a replacement.
Mr Radford-Gaby said it gave him “enormous pleasure” to present the award to Mrs Fitter, who admitted she was “quite emotional” at the honour.
Stressing it has “not been a one man band”, she said: “I would like to accept the plaque on behalf of everybody that has helped me – staff, volunteers, local businesspeople and the press.”
Mrs Fitter added that she was “so upset and disappointed” at having to close the shop, but said the charity would continue to give financial support to cancer patients for as long as there were funds and donations.”
It was actually Mr Williams’ second town plaque, which is believed to be a first for the town.
Mr Radford-Gaby said he wanted to present another, as it was Mr Williams’ 20th year as chairman of the lights committee.
He has been organising Helston’s award-winning Christmas lights display since 1992, heading up a team of volunteers who work every Sunday from November in the run up to Christmas putting up the lights.
The mayor described Mr Williams as “Mr Christmas Lights himself,” adding: “It is no secret that Helston’s Christmas lights are the finest certainly countywide, if not throughout the entire South West.”
Mr Williams thanked the town council for its support over the years, as well as his wife Dawn.
He said: “Thank you very much for the honour; it’s much appreciated. Of course it’s not just me. I have a very good team of volunteers who put in many an hour.
“As much as I am the figurehead I have a good team who support me in what we do. We are very proud to continue to do that in the future.”