THE Chairman of Ahoghill Thistle FC, Alderman Stewart McDonald, says his club wants to ‘give back to those who need it most’ by smashing their target for helping children with life-limiting and terminal conditions at their second annual Gala Ball in Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort next weekend.
Through their involvement with Ballymena NI Hospice Support Group Jingle Team in 2018, Ahoghill Thistle raised a fantastic £4,150 for the charity which houses the only hospice for children in Northern Ireland and depends substantially on donations to deliver a wide range of services and therapies to children, young people and their families.
The Mid and East Antrim Borough councillor and the football club’s Secretary Gary Peacock visited the Children’s Hospice last year and witnessed the impact that specialist, high quality clinical care in the home-from-home setting was making to the lives of those coming through its doors.
Alderman McDonald said: “As a football club we’re always asking people for money and sponsorship, so we’re keen to show we’re about more than just that, and we want to give something back to charity.
“Myself and our Secretary visited the Children’s Hospice last year and were able to see at first hand the difference it is making to those who need it most.
“We raised £4,150 last year at our Gala Ball but we are hoping to beat that this year. We are determined to put on a fantastic event and have many wonderful auction prizes up for grabs, including signed and framed Manchester United, Rangers and Chelsea shirts, an Ulster Rugby shirt, a signed Graeme McDowell polo shirt, and so much more.
“Everyone involved with the event is so grateful for the generosity of all those who have donated prizes or helped in any way in the organisation of the Gala Ball and we hope this year’s will be an even bigger success than last year.”
Children and families who visit the NI Children’s Hospice’s purpose-built Horizon House can avail of a range of services and therapies and spend time together in the homely surroundings which feature rooms for play and art, multi-sensory facilities and a hydrotherapy pool.
Specialist palliative perinatal and neonatal care is also delivered to families for as long as may be required, with essential short breaks available to children and families from across Northern Ireland.
Details on how to buy tickets for the Gala Ball, which takes place in The Great Hall at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort on Saturday 26 October at 6.30pm, can be found on the Ahoghill Thistle FC Facebook page.
Tickets can also be purchased from Alderman McDonald directly on 077 9384 8107.