Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade last night hosted more than 650 patrons at the 18th Annual Christmas Charity Dinner in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry on Thursday 7th December. After breaking the £1 million fundraising target for local charities three years ago, people were equally generous this year with more than £82,250 raised for local causes on the night. This brings the total raised during the past 18 years to just over £1.3 million. £1,312,624 (£1,230,374 total in 2016)
The annual total is a combination of money raised through the Santa Fun Run; the sum of the value of the toys brought by guests for the huge toy mountain which will be distributed to local families through St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army this Christmas; ticket sales for the dinner, donations, a golden ticket raffle and a raffle on the night.
Amongst the special guests were Dublin Senior Men’s Senior Football Manager Jim Gavin, Singing Sensation Brian Kennedy, TV and radio personality Gerry Kelly, politicians, clergy and dignitaries from across the island. The guests of honour were four very special local school children and their families who were nominated by their schools to receive dream holidays. Sean Boland, Shea O’Hare, Thomas Smith Harrison and Zack Gordon were presented with travel vouchers for a family holiday of their choice by committee members.
Paul Convery, President of Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade said, ‘Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade is very proud of the generosity of its members. For the past 18 years businesses and individuals from across the greater Newry area have embraced the Charity Christmas Dinner to help families have a better Christmas and to support charities/organisations doing tremendous work in our communities.’
Paul also thanked the Chamber Team headed by CEO, Mary Meehan for leading the organisation of the event this year as well as the Christmas Charity Committee chaired by Mark Crimmins and including Jerome Mullan, Gemma Murphy, Mary Meehan, Jessica Kane, Natasha Daryaie, Rebecca Byrne, Declan McChesney, Dr. Gerard O’Hare, Michael McKeown, Caroline Courtney, Nicole Curran, David Magill, Anne Murphy & Brigid Farrell.
All of the proceeds from the event were presented on the night to the beneficiary charities. The Southern Area Hospice Services were the sole beneficiaries from the Santa Fun Run and a host of other charities/organisations benefited from the dinner which included Daisy Hill Children’s Ward, Newry & District Gateway Club, Home-Start Newry & Mourne, St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, Rathore School, Brain Injury Support, Head Injury Support and Air Ambulance NI.