Charity fundraising by Newry businesses surpasses £1m

December 8, 2014

The annual Christmas Charity Dinner of Newry businesses on Thursday heralded a momentous milestone in the event’s 15 year history when the total funds raised topped the magic million pound mark.

The 700 plus guests at the function in the Canal Court hotel celebrated as exploding balloons and trumpeters hailed the announcement that this year’s contribution pushed the figure to more than £1million in aid of local charities.

Hosted annually by the city’s Chamber of Commerce and Trade, the Christmas Charity Dinner is the prime business social event in the area.

Every year donations of toys and cash are distributed among the most needy and this year was no different as hundreds of toys were received.  These are to be distributed throughout the district by St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army volunteers.

One of the event’s organisers, Feargal McCormack expressed the delight of the those involved: “We’re simply thrilled and overwhelmed by the success of this event and its immense contribution to the greater Newry area over the past 15 years,” he said.

Joining Feargal on the organizing committee of the event were Deborah Loughran, Dr Gerard O’Hare, Declan McChesney, Jerome Mullen, Gemma Murphy, Orla Jackson and Jack Murphy.

Nominated charities to benefit this year include the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust Fund, Autism Mums, Newry & Mourne Gateway Club, PIPS Newry & Mourne, Headway Newry, Rathore School Special Needs Associated Summer Scheme, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, the Children’s Ward Daisy Hill hospital and Southern Area Hospice.

Guests of Honour at Thursday’s event, which was compered by TV personality Gerry Kelly, were Rev Michael Barry, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church and Fr. Peter McVerry, a Newry native who has spent the past 40 years working with the homeless in Dublin.