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'Jingle All The Way' launch in The Braid (Town Hall)

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

THE official launch of Ballymena's Jingle All The Way fund raiser for Northern Ireland Children's Hospice takes place tonight (Tuesday) in The Braid (Town Hall) - 7pm for 7.30pm.

This will be the second year of the event - with last year's Jingle bringing in over £50,000!

The actual Jingle All The Way day in the town centre takes place this year on Saturday, November 24.

The public, who brilliantly supported the very worthy Children's Hospice cause last year, are urged to do the same again this time round - or make it even better as organisers hope to top the 2017 tally.

All money raised will go the charity’s vital work.

On November 24 day there there will be a number of events taking place in the town centre - with Hospice collectors hoping for the goodwill of the shoppers.

Prior to Jingle All The Way day clubs, groups, organisations and individuals will be working away on their fund raisers.

Already quite a few have been signed up to raise cash, with the Institute of Mixed Martial Arts (IMMA), which is based in George Street, one of the first to support the appeal.

Numerous others will be doing their thing to bring in money.

Tonight's official launch of Jingle All The Way will detail how to get involved - and how to encourage others to do likewise.

Guest of honour will be Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Mrs. Joan Christie, OBE.

Compere will be Jackie Fullerton.

Meanwhile, last year Jingle All The Way day featured a colourful cavalcade around town - an event which freeman of the town and Hollywood superstar Liam Neeson gave his backing to.

At the cheque presentation evening back in February it was announced that £51,539 had been raised.

Among the guests was Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, who said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of Mid and East Antrim residents.

Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy, who had been onboard the Santa Bus for the trip around town, recalled it had been 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," said the CE.

"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.”

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE, was among those who attended the cheque presentation evening.

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