Chamber Christmas bash raises £100k for local charities

December 12, 2016

Newry businesses and individuals have shown their outstanding generosity once again, raising a phenomenal £100,000 for a range of worthy causes at the Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade’s 17th annual Christmas Charity Dinner.

Widely recognised as one of the largest business charity dinners in Northern Ireland, the festive bash in the Canal Court Hotel hosted more than 700 patrons this year.

After breaking the £1 million fund-raising milestone for local charities two years ago, people were equally generous this year, bringing the overall total raised to just under £1,230,000.

The annual total is a combination of more than £13,000 raised through the city’s first-ever Christmas Charity Colour Run which attracted more than 750 runners, the sum of the value of the toys brought by guests for the magnificent toy mountain which will be distributed to local families through St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army, ticket sales for the dinner, generous donations, a golden ticket raffle and a raffle held on the night.

Among the special guests at this year’s event were comedian and Father Ted star Ardal O’Hanlon, Apprentice candidate Grainne McCoy, singer Susan McCann, along with politicians, members of the clergy and dignitaries from across Ireland.

In addition to the funds raised, four very special local schoolchildren were guests of honour on the night. Elish Larkin, Niall Travers, Daniel Boyle and Sean McKinley were each presented with travel vouchers for a family holiday of their choice by committee members after being nominated by their schools to receive dream holidays.

Speaking on behalf of the organising committee, president of Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Michael McKeown, said,

“We continue to be immensely proud of the generosity of our members and the people of this city.

“For the past 17 years businesses and individuals from across the greater Newry area have embraced this annual dinner to help families have a better Christmas and to support organisations and charities doing tremendous work in our communities.”

He also thanked the management and staff of the Canal Court Hotel as well as the organising committee of Emma Turley, Dr Gerard O’Hare, Mark Crimmins, Gavin O’Shea, Deborah Loughran, Mary Meehan, Declan McChesney, Jack Murphy, Gemma Murphy, Natasha Daryaie and Tony McKeown.

Twenty three charities benefitted from the charity colour run and dinner, including Rathore School, Daisy Hill Children’s Ward, Head Injury Support, Southern Area Hospice Services, The Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul, The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and Newry & District Gateway Club.