A Ballymoney family, whose cousin was tragically killed in a car crash in England, has raised over £1,000 during a fund raising night to help other bereaved families throughout the province.
Garry, Denise, Emma and their daughter Jodie Lee (Mcvicker) from Finvoy Road, held the event in Ballymoney Football Club last month to raise vital funds for the Will Funnell Trust.
Gary’s cousin, Pete Funnell and wife Kate from Coxheath in Kent, saw their world fall apart when their only child, Will, died in a high-speed collision close to their home. The 19-year-old was a passenger in the vehicle when it crashed in August.
Since the tragic loss, the family have held numerous fund raising events in England and Will’s father has even written an emotional song called ‘Night Owl’ to ease his heartache.
Jodie, who moved with her family to Ballymoney eight and a half years ago from Kent explained: “Our whole world fell apart when we lost Will. He was my second cousin but my dad and Will’s dad were like brothers and so Will and I were extremely close too. He was such a great person, always the life and soul of the party and is sadly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
“Channelling their grief into something positive, Will’s parents launched The Will Funnell Trust which aims to help bereaved families throughout the UK. They wanted to help other parents who have lost children in tragic circumstances.”
Highlighting the fund raising event, Jodie continued: “I wanted to do something in Ballymoney to help raise vital funds for The Will Funnell Trust, and as expected the local community didn’t let me down. We have raised an outstanding £1,020 between the charity night of which alone raise £840 and also from selling merchandise. And money is still coming in.
“I’d like to say a huge big thank you to Ballymoney Football Club for all their help and support especially Noel and Joe - I personally can’t thank them both enough.
“Huge thank you to each and every one of the Ballymoney businesses who kindly donated items for our raffle these include McAtamneys Ballymoney, Lou’s Boutiques, Molly’s restaurant, Some1special, Bella Mia, Beauty by Jamie, Cutting Edge, Trudy’s, Tesco Ballymoney, Create a Plate, Suzies Glazed Prints, Sparkle by Stef, Ella’s cakes, Tia’s cakes, D.A Stewart, Centra Ballymoney, Sporting Pro Coleraine, Buds and Bows and Boiler Service.
“A massive thanks to Star Plan, Coleraine for their generous donation and also to each and every person who made a donation of their time and money, every penny helps.
“I would like to thank my husband, my parents, my sister Emma and of course Peter and Kate for all their help and support to make the charity night as successful as it was. I couldn’t of done it without you all. I know Peter and Kate are both overwhelmed by all the support and kindness from everyone.
“We aim to raise a lot more money, this is just the start of it, and all ideas and contributions towards the charity is welcome. I would personally be grateful to those who are willing to help or have ideas to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or via facebook.
“Finally myself, Peter, Kate and all the family circle can’t express enough how grateful we are with the kindness and support we have received.
“Merchandise is still available, please go and ‘like’ ‘The Will Funnell Trust’ on facebook to follow and carry on supporting this amazing charity, and if you have any photos from the charity night please feel free to share them with us.”
Night Owl is available by downloading it from iTunes or by visiting www.nickjohnwilson.co.uk