Generosity of Ballymoney folk

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The renowned generosity of the residents of Ballymoney was reaffirmed on Tuesday, March 7 when a cheque for £45,000 was presented by local fundraisers of Cancer Research UK.

The magnificant sum was raised through donations and fundraising activities of people throughout the borough over the past year and the substantial cheque was handed over on their behalf by the Ballymoney Committee of the charity at its Annual Supporters Meeting hosted in the Ullans Centre.

As well as the presentation those present were given talks by representatives of Cancer Research UK who outlined where the money would be spent as well as the advancements being made in terms of detection and treatment.

Ryan McClintock, Regional Fundraising Manager stated that it was a pleasure to be in attendance at the Annual Supporters Meeting of Ballymoney Local Committee.

“I have attended many of these meetings and I have never seen so many people from the local community attend - I think this is indicitave of the strong community spirit imbued in the people of Ballymoney.”

Sharon Arbuckle, Area Fundraising Manager added: “After another fantastic year of fundraising, I am humbled to receive this cheque for £45,000 which includes £12050 raised by the coffee morning organised by the Barkley Family in memory of Lynda Barlkey. Moreover, this amount has now meant that the group has contributed £620,000 since their formation.”

Sharon paid tribute to the hard work of the Committee in their role of organising and encouraging people to get involved in fundraising activities and through their efforts they are playing an important role in the fight to beat cancer. At this point Ryan and Sharon made a presentation to Mrs Dorothy Hill who has given over 31 years of service to the Cancer Research Local Committee.

Mervyn Ferris, Chairman of the Committee, said the traditional supporters meeting is an opportunity to thank everyone who has given their support throughout the year and to hear something of how their contributions in terms of time and money are being used and the progress being made towards their vision of beating cancer. He praised the fundraising events such as that of the Old Venicle Clubs, the Annual band parade and doorstep collection, the Annual Fun Run, Post Office Van Pull, the Annual Big Breakfast organised by Iris Stewart and Family, Annual collection outside Tesco, and Eurospar, and collection boxes sited at various shops around the town.

He concluded: “We are also extremely grateful to those who have made donations to Cancer Research UK, in lieu of flowers following the loss of a loved one over the past year and for selecting our charity during what is a difficult time of sorrow.”

A number of certificates of recognition were then presented to the following: Management and Staff of Vivo Ballymoney, Mr Jack Reid for his Birthday Gift, Ballymoney ‘Old Vehicle Club’, Ballymoney ‘Pre 1950 Club, Postal Staff from Ballymoney Sorting Office and Stewart Family Big Breakfast.

This year’s Community Spirit Award was presented to the Barkley Family for organising the Coffee Morning in Memory of Lynda.

Finally The Chairman announced that 2017 is the 60th Anniversary of organised fundraising activity for Cancer Research in Ballymoney.

He added: “In order to maximise fundraising a number of events are in the pipeline and these will appear in the press in due course. Already a number of individuals and Organisations are staging events to raise funds towards our ambitions target of £60,000 for 2017. We plan to publish a Special 60th Anniversary Calendar featuring local scenes taken by local photographers. This will be on sale towards the end of year.

“We cannot attain this total without the help of the public so if anyone out there would like to organise an event either as an individual of an organisation we in the Committee would value your support and will do all we can to assist you in your event.”

The first of these will be the Cancer Research UK Big Breakfast organised by Iris Stewart and Family on Saturday, March 25.

After giving thanks supper was then served and in order to mark the launch 2017 events a special 60th Anniversary Cake was on the menu.