Get voting for your Person to Be Proud Of

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HERE are the finalists in The Coleraine Times/Ballymoney Times Person To Be Proud of Competition, sponsored by firmus energy.

These are the ‘shining stars’ readers have nominated as going that extra mile for the community.

Iris Stewart

Iris Stewart

And now readers have a chance to text vote for their winner, an exceptional citizen who makes a difference for people in the area.

Editor David Rankin says: “We wish to congratulate our four finalists in getting this far. They are all shining stars and deserve tremendous credit for all that they do for the community.

“Now it’s down to our readers to get voting and choose their favourite.”

Coleraine’s ‘Caring Caretaker’, Davy Boyle, has been nominated for the award by Denis McNeill.

Denis said: “Davy has been selflessly raising money for more than twelve years for all sorts of deserving causes, including local, regional, national and international.

“Thousands of people, young and old, have benefited from his unfailing charity work to the tune of more than £400,000. Each year he organises activities from pub quizzes to cycling events, golf days to bag packing in local supermarkets. His annual Jail and Bail whereby ‘offenders’ have to raise several hundred pounds to ‘secure’ their release is a community favourite. Many local people have volunteered for this and if you’ve not actually been ‘arrested’, you almost certainly know someone who has!

“Each Christmas David takes part in his big charity sit-out in the centre of Coleraine, raising many thousands of pounds at this event. Though ill health altered the structure of the 2013 sit-out, more than 30 of the local community rallied round to support and take their place in his seat. For me, this was proof of his popularity, evidence that local people see and appreciate the value of his tireless and important fund-raising.

“He’s truly a man of the people, a local hero, a person to be very proud of.”

Jolene Riley and Maggie Bobby Dimsdale pictured with Tiggy and Harvey.

Jolene Riley and Maggie Bobby Dimsdale pictured with Tiggy and Harvey.

Maggie Dimsdale Bobby runs Causeway Coast Dog Rescue a local charity in Coleraine, has been nominated by Jolene and also Rebecca White.

They said: “Maggie has been rescuing and rehoming dogs for over 30 years now put her charity has been going for 10 years. Since CCDR had to move out of their last premises last year Maggie has been opening her home up to dogs in need while awaiting a decision from planning for a new premises. In doing this along with a few other foster families, Maggie saved 230 plus dogs in 2013.”

“Maggie is one of the most kind hearted people and has helped countless people in our community. She is truly an amazing woman and deserves this award.”

Gary Wilson, Fundraising Volunteer Manager with the British Heart Foundation has nominated Ballymoney man James Walker.

Gary told us: “ Despite suffering a heart attack himself James has been volunteering with British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland for over five years now and in that time has raised a fantastic £40 000.”

“In this short period of time James, with the support of his wife Helen, has masterminded some fantastic high profile events including the Jimmy Cricket Comedy Show, Ford Car Fair and supermarket collections, country and gospel shows, coffee mornings and numerous other events.

“James also attends local schools and groups where he talks about the work of BHF Northern Ireland as well as telling people about the importance of good heart health - he is very enthusiastic and inspirational in every way!

James was recognised by BHF Northern Ireland for his work when he received their “ Northern Ireland volunteer of the Year Award two years ago.

“As well as his work for BHF Northern Ireland James is a very active member of the Causeway Cardiac Support Group and also the NI Cardiac Patients Forum where he is a brilliant advocate for the rights of heart patients throughout Northern Ireland.

Ruth Stewart nominated her mum Iris. She says: “My dad passed away in March 2002 after a long hard battle with cancer.

“The following March my mum opened up her house and had a charity breakfast for the public to raise money for Cancer Research she had continued to do this every March since and we have just completed the 12th year and the total over the years now stands at over £26,000.

“She puts so much time energy and expense into the breakfast every year and it is great to see so many lovely people support the event.

“She also lost both her parents in the past two years who also suffered with the terrible illness and she works hard to raise money in their memory and I think she does a fantastic job and would love her to get this shining star award.”