The organisers and supporters of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice’s Jingle All The Way campaign have been praised after more than £50,000 was raised locally for the charity’s vital work.
Ballymena played host to a colourful cavalcade through the streets just before Christmas, with freeman of the town and Hollywood superstar Liam Neeson giving his backing to the big day.
And at a special presentation evening last Thursday, the grand total of £51,539 raised was announced.
Among the guests was Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, who said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of Mid and East Antrim residents.
Cllr. Wales added: “A huge congratulations and thank you to all those behind the organisation of what was an incredible day in Ballymena.
“Despite poor weather conditions, the Ballymena people turned out en masse to support what is a truly wonderful cause.
“Months of planning went into making Jingle All The Way the success it was and I am delighted for all those who worked so hard behind the scenes that this superb total has been collected.
“The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is a charity extremely close to my heart.
“It is difficult to articulate just how important the support and dedication they provide to families throughout Northern Ireland is.
“They are inspirational people and on behalf of the people of Mid and East Antrim I thank them for their unrelenting care and devotion.”
Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people out supporting the crucial work of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice at the Jingle All The Way parade.
“We are so thankful for the support, care and comfort they provide.
“I have seen first-hand the incredible work the Hospice does and will be eternally grateful to them for being there during what was such an awful time for my family in the past.
“The amount of money raised is testament to the admiration and respect for the Children’s Hospice and the amazing standard of care it provides.”
This year’s event is due to take place on Saturday, November 24.