Screening set to raise cash for miners’ appeal

13 October 2011

A PORT TALBOT Cinema crew is calling on film-lovers to help them raise funds this weekend, as they host a special event in tribute to four men who died during a mining tragedy last month.

Apollo Cinemas will host an early showing of Disney’s The Help on Sunday, October 16, in a bid to raise funds towards an appeal fund set up following the flooding of the Gleision mine, near Pontardawe.

David Powell, 50, Charles Breslin, 62, Philip Hill, 44, and 39-year-old Garry Jenkins all died following the incident on September 15, shocking the community to its core. Three other miners managed to escape. The last of the miners’ funerals took place last week.

Jamie Hughes, manager at the Apollo cinema said he hoped people would dig deep to support the cause at the screening on Sunday.

Gemma Griffiths, chief of staff at the seaside multi-screen added: “When the incident happened, it was quite a shock to everyone. We’re all local people, everybody was connected in some way.”

She said that initially the cinema had wanted to put together a fundraiser just a few days after the accident, but that there hadn’t been enough time to promote the event. Then we approached Disney, who said we could show The Help early for the event.

“It’s nice to be able to use a film that hasn’t been released yet, to help fundraise. It gives people even more incentive to come.”

The Help stars Emma Stone and is based on a best-selling novel of the same name. Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, the film follows Stone’s character Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, a southern society girl who turns her town upside down when she decides to tell the story of local
housekeeper Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis).

As well as the special screening, which will see tickets costing £5 each with all money going to the appeal, special collection buckets will also be available at the event. It is hoped staff from Swansea’s Disney Store will also be on hand in the future to continue fundraising at the cinema.

The appeal was set up to support the families is now approaching £400,000, with patrons including Prince Charles, the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan and Neath MP Peter Hain. This week 40 curry houses across South Wales also held events to raise funds.

The special screening takes place at 10.30am on Sunday, October 16. To book visit www.apollocinemas.com.
To donate to the Swansea Valley Miners’ Appeal fund, visit www.minersappealfund.org.
XS Radio has also spent the week promoting the fundraiser.

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