Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Chamber’s festive event nudges £80k for charities

The Newry Chamber of Commerce annual Christmas Charity Dinner has raised the incredible sum of £78,830, all of which will provide a welcome festive boost for local charities.

Now in its 19th year, the highlight of the district’s social calendar has raised well over £1m for charities since its inception.  This year’s event, held in the Canal Court Hotel on Thursday, welcomed close to 1,000 local business and charity representatives, with the annual Toy Mountain bigger and better than ever as it towered over guests in the hotel foyer.

Welcoming everyone to the glittering occasion, Chamber President Paul Convery said the night was an opportunity for the Chamber and local businesses to give something back to the local community who have supported them throughout the year.

Mr Convery praised the overwhelming generosity of members of the public who flocked to the Canal Court Hotel throughout the day with gifts for the Toy Mountain.

He said: “Nobody does it better than the people of Newry. Since [the annual event] started, thousands of children have benefited from the generosity of Newry businesses and this year’s [toy] mountain is bigger and better than ever.  A big thank you to everyone who brought a toy. You will have brought real Christmas joy and happiness to the lives of the children and their families.”

The gifts will be distributed by St Vincent DePaul, the Salvation Army and Newry Junior Chamber to families in need in time for Christmas.

Several children with life-challenging difficulties were also honoured on the night and representatives from all 19 charities set to benefit from the charity dinner were in attendance with entertainment provided by comedy duo Rozlyn Sheridan and Teresa McBride and their popular ‘Wine O’Clock’ skit. 

Each year the event is a huge undertaking by the Charity Christmas Dinner organising committee who volunteer their time and resources and with the support of the big hearted local business community, this year’s event was another roaring success with a host of deserving charities set to benefit from the staggering amount raised. 

This year fundraising will benefit the following charities: Action on Elder Abuse NI, Air Ambulance NI, Bite and Banter, Clanrye Group, Community Rescue Service, Daisy Hill Children’s Ward, Down Right Brilliant, Ellen’s Journey, Life and Time, MS Society NI, Newry Helping the Homeless, PIPS Hope and Support, Rathore School, Space NI, St Mark’s High School ECPD Dept, St Vincent DePaul, Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, Salvation Army and Women’s Aid Armagh Down.