Cracker’s Christmas message is still striking a special chord

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Despite the current economic woes which have dominated the headlines in Northern Ireland recently, Ballymena’s very own charity radio station has enjoyed another wonderful year.

Now in its 23rd year, Radio Cracker has again struck a chord with the local public who have responded magnificently over the run-up to Christmas.

Chairman, Gordon Dawson expressed the thanks of all the station’s presenters and backroom volunteers when he spoke on Christmas eve.

Gordon said: “We have just completed our 23rd year and despite the ongoing economic difficulties, we have had a very successful year.

“The total raised up to our closing ceremony in Montgomerys at 3pm on Christmas eve was £59,100.00.”

He noted that this figure did not include some late donations and he felt it would be quite possible that last year’s total of £61,000.00 could be exceeded.

“As Chairman, I would like to thank all the local businesses who have continued to support us, as well as the local schools and the good people of the greater Ballymena area.

“A lot of people don’t realise the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes and to be entrusted with such a large sum of money is a great encouragement to the Radio Cracker volunteers.

“All of this money will be routed through established and respected charities to relieve poverty in the third world and in other poor countries.

“Once again, our supporters have demonstrated their respect for and love of Radio Cracker and I can’t find enough words to express my deep gratitude.

“Thanks to you, and among other things, the lives of many children will be saved through the provision of mosquito nets; and many blind people in India will see again following cataract operations. Thank you so much.”

In 1991, there were 90 individual Radio Cracker broadcast stations which between them raised around £500,000 for third world aid. In 1992, there were 83 stations, all broadcasting to their own communities across the UK.

The numbers fell in later years with Radio Cracker Ballymena being the last station still broadcasting.

every December to the Mid Antrim area of Northern Ireland.