Organisers of the annual Stray bonfire have pledged to support the HG1000, collecting money at the popular event next weekend.
Money raised at the event, which is organised by the Harrogate Round Table, will go towards St Mark’s Church HG1000 appeal.
The appeal aims to lift 1000 children living in the worlds poorest countries out of poverty through child sponsorship and buy 1000 water filters for families.
The Rev Guy Donegan-Cross said he was delighted with the support.
He said: “So far 499 people from Harrogate have sponsored a child through the campaign which means we are half way to reaching our target.
“It is a fantastic result, we have been running the campaign for around seven months now and the support has just been great. We didn’t expect to reach this figure this quickly. This gives us a real sense of momentum and we are so grateful that so many people in the community are getting involved.”
He added: “Just think that is 500 kids who have a better life now, thanks to people in Harrogate.”
Harrogate Roundtable member, Kieron McQuade, is also a HG1000 supporter and will help to organise the fundraising on the night.
The Stray bonfire will be held on Oatlands Stray opposite the Empress Pub on Saturday November 1.
This year marks the 43rd year the Harrogate Round Table has organised a bonfire and fire work display, and organisers say they hope this year will be the best yet.
The bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm with the spectacular fireworks display at 7.15pm.
There is no entry fee but charity bucket shakers will collect funds on the night.
The money will go towards buying £50 Water of Life filters for families living the some of the world’s poorest countries with no access to clean water.
Rev Donegan-Cross came up with the idea to try make Harrogate the first town in the world to help 1,000 people during a trip to Tanzania where he saw the work that charity, Compassion, do first hand.
He said: “I saw the water filters in action and I was amazed. They are so effective and I saw them being used in peoples homes - this was right in the middle of the bush - and it gave the whole family access to clean water.”
On October 30, St Aidan’s School will host an event to raise awareness of HG1000 with Bill Clinton’s former spiritual advisor, Tony Campolo and musician Graham Kendrick.
For more information see www.smch.org.uk/hg1000/ or call St Marks Church on 01423 544528.