“FLABBERGHASTED” was the reaction after thieves stole cash raised at a charity memorial concert in Henley recently.
But the message to the person who took it was, they could keep it, if they were going through financially tough times.
A swing band evening was held last weekend in tribute to resident and Henley in Bloom trustee Sally Harfield who passed away suddenly last month.
And a raffle on the evening, to raise cash for Henley in Bloom, banked £430. Organisers would not believe it, however, when they discovered at the end of the night the raffle cash had been stolen.
Event organiser David Broadbent told the Observer: “I am totally flabbergasted, as I would not have considered one person in that room capable of such a terrible act, but someone took the money.”
David continued that on discovering the loss, plenty of friends came forward to offer to replace the money themselves.
He said: “My friends David and Margaret Tomlinson organised the raffle, including getting all the prizes from local businesses, and a £50 case of wine donated by themselves personally, feel they are responsible and said they would replace the money.
“When I mentioned this to several tennis friend’s they also immediately said they would help out and contribute as it was not fair for David and Margaret to stand the loss.”
David added that he had already received in kind donations more than the amount originally raised through the raffle and so he had a message for the thief.
“We have already exceeded the amount stolen, so if you are facing financial hardship so bad, that you are prepared to steal from friends and a worthwhile charitable cause, then you are forgiven.
“The alternative explanation is that you are criminally minded or alcohol got the better of you. If your conscience is biting you and you wish to return it, post it anonymously through my letterbox.”