HAVING to cancel live events cannot deter dedicated members of Alloa Round Table as they press on with Christmas fundraising efforts.

Normally, volunteers would currently be busy organising live entertainment and a fireworks display for Sparks in the Park at the West End Park in Alloa around November 5.

It is one of their major annual fundraising events and with coronavirus cancelling events and closing businesses across the area, Alloa Round Table has been taking forward an online initiative to generate money for good causes and deserving individuals.

The organisation's John O'Malley also had to take the already postponed Alloa Half Marathon virtual, with many participants happy to complete the route in their own time.

And while both the half marathon and the fireworks display are majors sources of fundraising, Alloa Round Table is still looking to make sure underprivileged children in Clacks receive a Christmas gift in December.

John, who ran the half marathon course with Sparks in the Park organiser John Dornan – both carrying 20kg backpacks as a challenge, told the Advertiser: "By this point in time there is usually quite a bit of money in from both events and we could spend some money on kids' Christmas presents.

"To do that this year with the events not going ahead has been a little bit tricky."

However, people in the Wee County have been generous over the past weeks with more than £800 raised online.

Not being able to go ahead with the major events "has not been great", John admitted.

He added: "Obviously, I want to put on the marathon and John [Dornan] wants to put on the fireworks.

"We all want to put on these events to try and raise money and it's very unlikely it's going to happen over the foreseeable future.

"What we are trying to do is give people an option to do as much as possible – with the marathon this year we allowed everyone to do a virtual run and that was taken up by quite a few people.

"I think it helped them, just doing the race still getting the t-shirt and medal, completing the goal for the year.

"The Round Table and me personally would just like to thank everybody who took part in that, it really was good to see that people were out there supporting our race in their own time, on their own terms, it was really-really nice."

And it was not just the two Johns of Alloa Round Table completing the course as a way of generating funds as all members have now done their bit around the picturesque Wee County route.

People looking to support Alloa Round Table's fundraising efforts can visit bit.ly/37wjOW7 to do so.