Auction of Elmer trail statues raises £143,550 for children’s hospice

By Tim Aldred

01 Jul 2024

Elmer Auction Blackpool

Following the conclusion of Elmer’s Big Parade in Blackpool, the sculptures have been auctioned off and raised £143,550 for Brian House Children’s Hospice.

For eight weeks, decorated statues of the iconic children's character had been positioned around the seaside resort, with families invited to track them all down and check them off in the official app.

Bidders then gathered at Blackpool Tower’s Fifth Floor - with more online - hoping to take home the pieces of art.

The top seller of the night was Elmer’s Book Bench, which not only fetched an astonishing £8,000, but generous bidders in the room clubbed together to pay an additional £10,000 to have another bench specially made for the children at Brian House. 

David Houston, the charity's chief executive, said: "We are absolutely blown away by the generosity of the people who joined us for the auction who raised a phenomenal amount of money.

"We’re delighted that all of our sculptures fetched incredible hammer prices, giving a great number of people a lasting legacy of the fun and vibrancy we brought to Blackpool. But more importantly, the money raised last night will make a mammoth difference to local families who need us – their local hospice – for vital care and support."

In addition to the auction, the total funds raised will be boosted by the sale of Elmer merchandise, raffle tickets sales, the Learning Programme schools fundraising efforts, donations and tickets to the Farewell Weekend. A final total for Elmer’s Big Parade Blackpool is still to be announced. 

Brian House nurses Annabel Bromilow and Amanda Harrison spoke at the auction about the difference the art trail will make to local families.

Annabel said: “It was such an amazing night, and a very special evening to be part of. We can’t put into words how it felt to see people continue to raise their paddles and bid online, and to announce the total at the end of the night was a wonderful moment we won’t forget. 

“That much money means so much to us all at Brian House, where we have the privilege to care for some amazing children who are so resilient against the challenges they face every day. To be able to provide our expert care and support to them and their families is very fulfilling, but only possible thanks to the generosity of people like all those we met last night.” 

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