£25,000 sum raised is Strictly Superb! 'Life changing' total of money raised for local charity BraveheartsNI

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

BRAVEHEARTS NI raised a massive £25,000 as a result of the Strictly Ballymena dancing extravaganza, held in October.

Dancers from Ballymena joined together in the cross community event to help raise funds and awareness for the local charity.

Dancers underwent gruelling training sessions in the lead up to the event, with the finale being held at Tullyglass House Hotel.

To celebrate the sucess of the event, a number of the Strictly Ballymena dancers gathered to reveal the incredible total of £25,000 for Braveheartsni.

Bravehearts NI founder Clare Caulfield said it was a “life changing total” of money.

She told the Ballymena Guardian: “I had this idea for some time and knew it could be massive where I’d get the whole town involved and also give a little back to help other clubs, societies and charities.

“The stars aligned and the group of strangers who came together from every corner of the town to dance for BraveheartsNI made the whole journey worthwhile.

“We now refer to ourselves as our Strictly Family. This amazing total will give us so many opportunities to help exactly where it is needed not only families in our own town but right across the province. We can reach out more and further.

“Our family of dancers continue to support us with future fundraising. They opened doors to groups that have now came forward to support us. It’s incredible the belief people have in us.

“Many new supporters and volunteers have came forward as they love the ethos of us and our 100% volunteer structure.

“BraveheartsNI hired Ballroom Blitz NI to teach the dancers and their choreography went down a treat. Harry Dunlop Refrigeration and Unite the Union sponsored the dance extravaganza allowing us to make it as big as it needed to be with the interest it gathered along the way.

“We certainly couldn’t have raised the amount we did if we hadn’t had the backing of all the local businesses who jumped to sponsor dances and prizes and turn up on the night with their banners and cheers.

“It truly was a Ballymena event especially at a time when our town needed a little bit of sparkle. We are so indebted to you all.

“A special thank you to David Jefferies and Brian Taggart from BUFC who at every opportunity promoted our event and who always open doors for Braveheartsni as they deeply believe in what we do. Jackie Fullerton, Allie Ford and Clr Beth Adger gave up their time to judge for us and they had a ball. They helped to make the night what it was. We are indebted to you Thank you.

There were 11 other charities and clubs who also benefited from the night as the dancers could also choose others to benefit from their fundraising.

We are so humbled and honoured to have received the support of Ballymena. We are founded in this town and you have certainly enabled us to grow.”

Clare also urged: “Keep your eyes posted for the next one!”

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