VIDEO: Willie’s Orphans steal our hearts

On the water ride at Barrys-Benz, Penlin, Yoko.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
On the water ride at Barrys-Benz, Penlin, Yoko.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

Willie’s Orphans stole the hearts of the borough during a visit to the area last week.

Charity co-ordinator, Willie Gregg, showed the Thai youngsters some of the sights of the Triangle - particularly a fun-filled visit to Barry’s - during a memorable week.

And the thrilled children joined Uel Walls and NRC Northern Regional College, Ballymoney, for the recording of the charity’s anthem ‘Stay The Way You Are’.

Willie’s Orphan Fund came about as the result of Willie’s reaction to the horrors of the 2004 Boxing Day Asian Tsunami and especially the effect it had on young people orphaned in Thailand.

On the charity’s Facebook page, Willie posted a message of sincere thanks to everyone who made the visit so special.

He said: “All these good people have been supporting Willie’s Orphan Fund

for many years in many ways, a very big heart filled thank you to all of you and to the many who have not wanted their names ever mentioned in the press or social media.

Firstly I thank Mother Nature for the incredible weather during the visit which meant so much to the kids as they are not used to our weather!

Mr Stephen Lockhart for all his photography.

Mr Ivan Little, Sunday Life and Belfast Telegraph.

Barrys Portrush and all their staff.

Mrs Christine Anderson and daughter Kirsty.

Bonds Jewellers for all their support and fantastic gifts of watches to the orphans and teachers.

The directors staff and management of the Ramore Complex not forgetting the customers!

Bruce Bailie and his team at McDonald’s Coleraine.

Mrs McCombe, thanks for the pens and pencils at McCombe’s Office Supplies!

Mr Stephen Duke at Identity Design, Coleraine.

All the football kids at Ballysally playing fields.

Mr Stevie Crowe and Jason Quigley - football organisers

NRC Northern Regional College, Ballymoney, for all their help recording our anthem ‘Stay The Way You Are’.

Mr Stephen Price, Head Lecturer in Creative Media, NRC.

Miss Kelita Hutchinson and Richard Parke for their filiming work.

Mr Gary and Johnny Davis and all the team at Turf & Surf Coleraine.

Hugh’s Taxis.

Belfast Inst, thanks Janet Williamson M.A. Your pupils are a credit to you!

Adele and Alistar Kennedy, Simon Clarke and all the management and staff at Inn on the Coast Portrush.

Mr Bob Cockcroft at Ballyreagh Golf Course Portrush.

Radio Foyle.

Radio U105.

Q97 Radio.

Mr Uel Walls.

Jayne and Lizzie Todd for their fantastic food hamper.

Mr Davey Brown.

The Oliver family\Coastal Hire.

Ballybogey Filling station.

Harpur’s Hill Spar.

Gerard Devlin.

Jayne Morris Creations, Coleraine.

Lavender Green, Portrush.

Coleraine Round Table

Coleraine Rotary Club

Richard Hogg, Total Foot Care, Coleraine.

The Railway Arms, Coleraine.

New Society, Neill, Zoe and all the staff.

Morelli’s Ice Cream factory.

ATM Graphics.

Billy Nutt, Nutt Travel.

Belfast city sightseeing.

Mr Michael Deane and his manager and entire staff at Deane’s, Restaurant in Belfast.

Nurses Joanne Coyles and Fennifer McCandless and Doctor McCartney: we were blessed by not needing your services. Thanks for standing by during the visit!

Everyone at Eden in Carrickfergus.

Mrs Noeleen McFall and everyone a Carricfergus Castle.

Young Rado Morelli.

Mr Carwyn Guy, headmaster Karen Maguire, Liz Waddell and all the pupils teachers and staff at Portrush Primary school.

Mr Damian Rohdich

Mr Mark Jameson, photographer.

Stephanie Holmes and William Holmes and Team Moorbrook, Bistro and Fishery, Castlerock.

Mr Nino, Damian and Rado Morelli.

Mr Milne Rowntree for all his help.

Broader Picture, Portstewart

The First Trust Bank, Coleraine

Radio Cabs Coleraine

Mr Sean McLaughlin and all his staff at the Giant’s Causeway hotel.

Giant’s Causeway complex and all its drivers and staff.

P&O and Stena Line.

Last but not least: Mr and Mrs Colin Kennedy for allowing the kids to gatecrash your wedding day!

We would like to thank everyone who helped and assisted us to make this year’s orphans trip to the province such a fantastic experience that these great kids will never forget.

I hope we have not forgotten anyone in this thank you letter! If we have please forgive us! “