Annual Team Dinner

This evening saw the team holding its 38th Annual Team Dinner at the excellent venue of The Watermillock, Bolton.

Organised by team member Alison Yates and her husband, ex team member Geoff Yates, the evenings’ meal and after dinnner entertainment attracted 91 guests.
Those attending included virtually all our Call Out list and Support Group members along with their partners, ex team members, members of GMAS, parents of team members and team sponsors and supporters.

Amongst our guests were partners and ex-team members Claire Morrissey and Daniel Lewis who had journeyed down for the proceedings from their new home near Penrith, whilst recently retired from the team membership Peter Ellwood and his partner Alice had journeyed down from their new home in Wray, Lancashire.

Following the excellent meal, proceedings commenced with our annual formal awards, conducted by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes. The Stanley Award for the Most Promising New Team Member was presented to Hayley Mather, who joined the team last year, for her enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to the team, and her ready willingness to help out at whatever task is asked of her.

The Howard Hill Memorial Tankard Award for the Person or Persons Making the Greatest Contribution to the Team over the past year, was awarded to Team Support Group member Gillian Gregory, for her tremendous involvement in taking on board our Collection Box fundraising initiative and vastly increasing the number of locations over the last twelve months, during which time she has been the guiding force within the Support Group in this achievement.

Three more formal presentions were made to mark the retirement from the team in February and March of long serving Call Out list members Peter Ellwood, Ann Shaw and Tony McNally (see seperate articles on all three elsewhere in our news section). Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes highlighted the contributions all three had made to the team, and in Ann’s case to Regional and National Mountain Rescue with regards to her acting as an instructor on regional and national mountain rescue courses.

The tables were turned on our Leader, Garry Rhodes, when our out going Team Chairman, and now Vice President then stood up to present Garry with a Certificate of National Recognition for 25 years service to Mountain Rescue (for full details see the next article).

There then followed the team’s equivalent of the “Gotcha Awards” presented as ever by our Team Leader who took great delight in informing the guests of everything that had happened over the last year, that those who it had happened to would have rather forgotten about!

Garry started with an hilarious review of the teams’ year and then a month by month review, with many red faces all around as they were reminded of what they thought had been forgotten!

Garry then presented his infamous hand made awards, each with a relevant speech, to 15 people present in 14 catagories, each one amidst much laughter and barracking from all present.

As ever there was a competition, £1.00 a go, to guess the length of time Garry spoke for throughout the evening, with the winner, new team member Mike Higginbottom correctly guesssing at 1 hour 42.5 minutes, he promptly donated his 50% of the take winnings back to the team, with Garry’s speech raising a total of £89.00.

With determined raffle ticket sales headed up by our sales team of new team members, our fundraising Officer and ex-team member Richard “the gentle giant” Janicki, and with some superb raffle prizes, including a beautiful mountainscape picture donated by Claire Morrissey and Daniel Lewis, lots donated by team supporter Susan Rourke, a voucher from Campcraft, Newport St, Bolton, and tens of bottles of wines and spirits, the raffle raised an amazing £472.20 on the evening.
To this must be added an item donated to the raffle but subsequently withdrawn when a bid of £40.00 secured its purchase by team member Mark Parry.

So in total this year’s Team Dinner raised an amazing £601.20 for the team as well as sending everybody home with a (drunken) smile on their faces.