Our Jubilee Jam Jars fundraiser got off to a grand start this week.
Our first pennies arrived within minutes of the office opening on Thursday and were donated by Bernard Illingworth, of Hurds Hollow, in Matlock.
He said he and his wife had been collecting the coins for many years and had just been waiting for a good cause to which they could give them.
The Mercury’s Jubilee Jam Jars fitted the bill perfectly.
Since then, lots of other generous readers have brought in their contributions.
However we still have a way to go before we can buy the avenue of trees.
The paper has teamed up with Derbyshire Dales District Council and aims to plant them in Hall Leys Park, in Matlock to mark the 60 year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
We need the help of the community to fund them and are asking you to donate the spare pennies you have stored in jam jars and pots in your homes.
Editor Amanda Hatfield said: “Lots of us have a jam jar in the house where we store all the spare coppers weighing down our purse or discovered lurking down the back of the sofa.
“We figured that if everyone donated just a few of those pennies it would take no time at all to raise the money needed to pay for the trees.”
The Park, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, was originally opened to mark the Coronation of King George V so it will be fitting to mark this important jubilee with such a tribute.
The trees are not expected to cost more than £300 and so that will be our first target. If we exceed that amount then the Mercury will be asking readers to nominate other causes and charities to which we can donate the cash.
“If we raise more money than is needed for the trees then we may carry on with the fundraising by the Jam Jar Army,” said Amanda. “We are sure that we will be well supported by our generous readers and that we will hit the target. The trees will probably not be planted until the autumn so we have plenty of time to get there.”
If you wish to donate your jam jar of cash just bring it along to our office in Firs Parade, Matlock, during our office opening times. We will do the rest and will print updates in the paper and online at www.matlockmercury.co.uk.
One of the first places you will be able to donate is our pancake race in the park on February 21 (see story below).