Christmas shoppers were treated to a seasonal preview of one of St Elizabeth Hospice’s Elmer the elephant sculptures in the Sailmakers shopping centre.
Sponsors, partners and supporters gathered to celebrate a milestone in the 2019 art trail project, with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines signing up as a new sponsor.
If you have missed the previous publicity, St Elizabeth Hospice have announced that after the great success of their ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ art trail last year, which brought 250,000 visitors to the town and an estimated £1m to the local economy, Elmer the Patchwork elephant will be the theme of Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, the next trail running in the summer of 2019.
The trail, which will be made up of 50 large Elmer statues and 100 young Elmers, will once again be run in conjunction with public art event specialists Wild in Art, as well as a new partner, Andersen Press, who own the publishing rights to Elmer.
2019 is an important year for the hospice as it celebrates its 30th anniversary, and the number 30 featured strongly behind yesterday’s gathering, as it is also the anniversary of the most recent company, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, who have signed up to sponsor a sculpture – and yes they are the 30th company to do so!
Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for St Elizabeth Hospice, said:
“It is fantastic to have Fred Olsen Cruise Lines on board, I really laughed when I realised that they’d confirmed as our 30th sponsor – you couldn’t plan such a thing if you tried. It’s a brilliant milestone to reach after just a couple of months since the launch and we are very excited by this.
Our target is 50 sculptures and the first few months of next year will be spent following up the interest that has been shown and securing sponsors for the last 20. The earlier companies get on board the greater value they will get from their sponsorship as the preparations for the trail build. I would like to add my grateful thanks to all ten of our partners who came on board before the launch, this confidence in the project is so reassuring. Our ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ trail proved such a success for the town and our sponsors and we are working to make sure that Elmer delivers even more.”
Peter Deer, Commercial Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines:
“Fred. Olsen will be celebrating its 30th year in Ipswich in 2018, and what better way to celebrate our anniversary than by being the proud sponsor of the 30th ‘Elmer the Elephant’ coming to our town! We are always delighted to support St Elizabeth Hospice, which provides an important service to our local community, and for many years now our staff have engaged in a wide variety of activities to raise funds for this excellent charity. Elmer is new to us and we do hope that you can give our elephant a great start in life!”