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Date added: 15 November 2007

Charity and Christmas Cheer 

The Outlet Village was alive with Christmas spirit last night, as members of the community celebrated the switching-on of the Macmillan 'Tree of Thought'.

It was a night of celebration and commemoration, as pupils from Ruskin Junior School joined Swindon's Deputy Mayor, Steve Wakefield, to remember family members who have been lost through cancer, with the symbolic tree at the centre of the occasion.

Sparkling for Swindon:
Deputy Mayor Steve Wakefield turns on
the Macmillian Tree of Thought

After the Deputy Mayor's opening speech, and the big switch-on, more than 50 pupils from Ruskin Junior School's talented choir took to the stage to perform a number of classic Christmas carols.

An incredible £1,500 was raised during the evening, including £500 which was generously donated by the Outlet Centre to kick-start the evening.

Macmillan's fundraising manager, Graziella Campisano, said: “It's great to see such a well supported event, and we're very thankful for everyone who has turned up tonight.

“It's symbolic to have the tree and the wall of names, and it's been really popular over the years that we've been running it.” The Deputy Mayor said: “Christmas focuses everybody's thoughts on the loved ones they have lost, so it's a very nice idea.

The magic of Christmas can help to commemorate and support such a worthy cause.” The event was also held to launch the start of the shopping centre's late night Christmas opening hours, which will now be trading until 9pm weeknights, from now until 21 December.
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