RAISING £25,000 in one year for local charities is no mean feat.
But for a dedicated group of volunteers in Blackpool it was n-ice and easy.
BIDCA – the Blackpool Ice Drome Charities Association – is now in its 61st year. It is a non-profit organisation run solely by volunteers, with the key objective of raising money for local kids’ charities.
The group has grown over the years. At one time, the only fundraising activity was the annual children’s Christmas Ice Show, which still raises the majority of the cash, but there are now other events throughout the year.
Last year saw BIDCA’s first ball, which raised £7,000, and saw Dancing on Ice star and former BIDCA skater Dan Whiston attending.
And the group is also taking part in sponsored sport challenges.
Last year, a number of BIDCA volunteers took part in the Windmill Bike Ride and raised £690.
This year, they have set their sights on the Three Peak Challenge. They plan to take a signed Blackpool shirt with them, which they will take a photo of at each peak and then raffle or auction off later.
Rehearsals will be starting soon for the 2011 Christmas Ice Show, which this year will be Beauty and the Beast, a Christmas Gift on Ice, featuring a cast of 79 children.
Last year, 76 youngsters took part in Cinderella and Friends’ Christmas Adventures on Ice, raising in the region of £15,000.
Productions over the years have included Movie Mayhem on Ice, The Magic of the Movies, Broadway on Ice and Fantasy on Ice.
Charities helped have included Brian House, Help a Local Child Appeal and the Blackpool’s A Knockout appeal to buy a special MRI scanner for children at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Julie Erskine, from BIDCA, said: “Our motto is children helping children.
“The children do work extremely hard to put on a very professional show, giving up their weekends from July onwards.
“It definitely restores your faith in the youth of today.
“We are just about to launch ticket sales for this year’s show and rehearsals will be starting soon. Hopefully, we can raise even more money this year.
“We will be holding the ball again as it was a big success last year and it was wonderful to see Dan Whiston there.
“He used to be a BIDCA skater, so it shows the children how far they can go.
“We are looking forward to the three main areas of fundraising again this year.
“And we would like to say thank you to everybody who has helped us or donated – last year the charities we chose to support were Brian House Children’s Hospice, Ormerod Kids, Second Skin and the Red Marsh Trust (The Gazette’s William’s Wish campaign).”
Log onto www.bidca.co.uk. To buy tickets for the ball, call 0752 836 5615.