Friends of veteran soldier Andy McFarland who died recently are building on the “overwhelming” success of a crowdfunding appeal to continue raising funds in his memory.
The Just Giving page was set up just over a week ago to raise funds to send Andy’s children to Disneyland.
In just four days, the fund had surpassed its target of £3,000 to send the children on the trip.
W Wilson, one of the team behind the Just Giving page, said they were overwhelmed by the out-pouring of support from the public.
He said that in the wake of the fund total surpassing their target, any additional funds raised will go to Combat Stress in L/Cpl. Mc Farland’s memory.
Lance Corporal McFarland’s death on July 12 sent shock waves around the local community and there have been hundreds of tributes paid to the soldier who had served with great distinction in Afghanistan with the Royal Irish Regiment.
W Wilson added: “Andy was loved and respected by all his comrades and peers.
“It was only right that as group of friends we came together to do something in his memory.”
“The fundraising has taken off to such an extent, with more events planned, that any additional money raised will be donated to Combat Stress in Andy’s memory.
“We can’t thank the public enough for their kind and generous donations so far.”
Among the events being planned is a football match between Harryville Homers and a Royal Irish select team.
The fundraisers have also received support from local MLA Paul Frew.
A collection box has also been established in the Ladysmith Arms in Ballymena.
A fundraising disco is planned for Saturday, September 24 in The Coach Bar, Ballymena.
A gala ball is also in the planning stages, with hopes of a fundraising auction on the night.
“Indeed there are many more events still being organised as we speak,” W Wilson added.
For more information, or to donate, visit the Just Giving page at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/w-wilson-1