WHEN 74-year-old John Molnar put a £2 charity donation into the bowl on Shepperton-based Bridge Marine’s stand at the London Boat Show, to give himself the chance of winning an outboard motor, he wasn’t terribly hopeful about his chances.
So he was absolutely thrilled this week when Bridge Marine boss Jenny Beagle phoned to let him know that his name had been drawn out and he was now the proud owner of a £560 Suzuki 2.5hp engine.
When he came to pick up his prize on Friday, John, from Wandsworth, told me: “I have only won £10 on the Lottery before now and I really wasn’t expecting to win so this is a wonderful surprise.
“I have a dinghy that I built 25 years ago which I keep at my daughter’s house in Marlow and we sometimes take my grandchildren out for a row – but it’s a heavy boat and we went to the Boat Show to look for an outboard so this is fantastic. I am just flabbergasted.”
Someone else who was flabbergasted was Judith Garland, one of the teachers from Walton Leigh School in Ellesmere Road, Walton who brought some of her special needs youngsters over to Bridge Marine to receive a cheque for £225 raised by the Boat Show engine draw.
She said: “It’s a lovely gift – we rely very heavily on this kind of donation and it’s very much appreciated. It makes us really feel part of the community when people support us like this.”
As a number of smiling pupils from the school lined up to have their pictures taken with the giant cheque, Jenny Beagle, whose niece, Sarah Prior, is also a pupil, was equally delighted.
She said: “It’s great to be able to make a donation to this great school. They’ve done wonderful things for Sarah. When she started at the school she was a shy little girl who wouldn’t say boo to a goose but they’ve helped bring her out of herself and she’s now much more confident. It’s great to be able to give something back – and I’m indebted to all the people at the boat show who contributed to make this possible.”
Jenny was generally pleased with the response she got at the show but she was surprised at how hectic it was towards the end of the exhibition.
“We were really rushed off our feet for the last couple of days, but it was a great experience and we’re still following up on sales leads we obtained at the show,” she added.
I’m delighted to hear it. It’s always pleasing when a company like Bridge Marine, which clearly cares about its local community and is determined to help where it can, gets the rewards it deserves.
Well done Jenny and team.