SHOPPERS and householders donated £6,700 to this year’s Santa Sleigh appeal organised by the Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotary Club.

Bad weather was blamed for the total being down on the previous year’s £8,000, as rain forced the cancellation of a couple of nights of the sleigh run.

But a new mini sleigh used for the first time to collect donations in the foyer of Asda during the festive period was a great success, according to Rotarian Tony Billingham.

“It was a new sleigh which definitely boosted funds and will be used again next Christmas,” he said.

The large sleigh toured the streets of the two towns and was stationed at venues including B&Q at weekends, clad in new festive lights.

Mr Billingham said: “It looked quite spectacular with the new lights – there were lots of comments about how good it looked.”

He added the total raised was “very good” in view of the current economic climate.

The money will be donated to various charities, mainly those dealing with children.

The rotary club has also donated £460 from other fundraising to the Halesowen Athletics and Cycling Club in recognition of its support in marshalling last year’s Halesowen Fun Run.