Last night 81 (plus a few smaller) Gromits were auctioned off to raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital.
An amazing £2,357,000 was raised after a summer which saw thousands of people taking part in the Gromit Trail around Bristol, spotting as many of the decorated dogs as they could.
This morning my Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Bristol was all about the Gromits. It’s not a particularly overtly “Christian” thought but it tries to sum up how much the city has connected with this brilliantly-done campaign.
“It’s going, going, gone, Gromit!
Wow – what can we say about the auction last night? It was amazing.
Noah might have herded the animals into his ark two by two, but last night at the Mall, Bristol’s beloved Gromits were sold off one by one – and I think we all knew they would raise a huge sum for Bristol Children’s Hospital.
What a summer it has been. I was one of the Gromit-hunters who downloaded the app, followed the trails, took pictures and yes – even queued outside the exhibition (although not for eight hours).
At each location something happened. Maybe it was the ‘Gromit Effect’. Adults and children patiently waited in line to take pictures. They talked to each other, exchanged information from their trail maps. Connections were made. People knew that this was a good thing and that it was for a good cause. And they smiled.
It’s not often that a public event like this captures the imagination of a whole city. I think it has made Bristol a happier place.
A small number of people moaned – but in the midst of a gloomy economy, debates about bus fares, rubbish collections and football teams, wasn’t it nice to have something to make us grin, connect with fellow Gromit fans, and do something positive for others?
It’s not just the people who bought the Gromits last night who were generous. The whole city has been generous – with time, energy, money and fun.
So thank you Gromit Unleashed for being a project which has put a smile on the face of Bristol. What shall we do next?”
A few of my favourite Gromits:
Isambark Kingdog Brunel
The Secret Garden
Gromit Lightyear (this was the top seller at £65,000!)
TutanGromit the First
Find out more at http://www.gromitunleashed.org.uk/