Tractor pull benefits Parkinson’s charity

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A cross-community farming group has been praised after it raised almost an amazing £18,000 for charity in just a matter of weeks.

The Gelvin Farmers’ Group handed over a cheque for an impressive £17,727 recently at the Pot Bar in Drumsurn to Portstewart woman Ethna Watterson MBE, who represents Parkinsons Northern Ireland.

The huge amount was the proceeds from the group’s fifth annual fundraiser, which this year was a tractor pull from Garvagh to Drumsurn.

Eugene Lagan from the group and members were overwhelmed by the generosity of people who donated.

“The tractor pull attracted 20 teams and some as far away as Belfast. We also had a raffle and an auction and a street collection. We set a target of £10,000 and we had £11,000 in three weeks. Words can’t describe how I feel. It’s just overwhelming,” he said.

The Gelvin Farmers’ however have a top track record when it comes to fundraising and have raised £72,000 for local charities since 2004, according to Mr Lagan.

Limavady Mayor, Sean McGlinchey, said: “What they have achieved is unreal, especially at this time when things are so tough. This is a great example of a cross-community group working fantastically together and they have to be congratulated. It’s brilliant.”

The group and the McIlvar family would like to thank The Pot Bar Drumsurn, The Classic Winebar Limavady, Annie’s Bakery, Eurospar Garvagh and Dungiven Plant Hire, along with all the people and organisations that donated food, raffle prizes, items for auction, or time to the event.

“Without their help this event would not have been so successful” a spokesman said.