As is customary, members of BACCES attended numerous cheque presentations following their successful run of "Sleeping Beauty" at the Watford Palace Theatre back in January 2016. An essential part of the society's charitable giving is to see where the money they donate from any given production is to be spent and to visit their chosen charities to get a better insight into the work they do and how it helps the local community and/or individuals.
Last year, BACCES chose eight charities following a request for nominations in a local newspaper - Mind, Battens Disease Family Association (BDFA), and Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND) received £1,000 each, while The Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy (WTCC), Home-Start, ASCEND, Nicki's Smile, and Watford Mencap each received £600. In addition to monetary donations, BACCES also performed a private preview of the show to an invited audience made up of guests from care homes, local schools, charities, hospitals, and community groups. Also, to encourage local support, the society gave in the region of 700 tickets to members of the local community who might otherwise not have been able to attend a pantomime. The total donated from "Sleeping Beauty" stands at approximately £26,000.
Jane Bowditch, director of last year's production, said she was absolutely thrilled that "BACCES was able to make a real difference. Seeing for ourselves how the charities we support help others, is why all of this is so special." She continued, "I wish more people could see and appreciate what we do. This is why we all work so hard."
BACCES will be selecting the beneficiaries of its next production, "Robin Hood", over the next month or two. The society is a hive of activity as it makes its initial preparations for its 2017 show and for its move back to The Beck Theatre in Hayes..