A friendship forged some years ago by a bus driver and a young Stranocum girl has resulted in a cheque for more than £700 being donated to charity.
Denis McMichael and his wife, Francesca, have thrown open their home to visitors to the annual Armoy Road Races collecting parking money and selling refreshments.
The collections began five years ago at the start of the races and ever since, the McMichael family have been choosing different charities.
This year, Hospice were the recipients and in presenting the cheque for £742 there was acknowledgement of the hard work done by volunteers for teenager, Jade McAfee who has suffered with a neurological disorder for most of her life.
Margaret Butler, treasurer of Ballycastle Hospice, was present at the McAfee home, next door to Bushvalley Primary School, to collect the money along with Jade’s mum, Debbie and the McMichael family including son, David and daughter Rachel.
Denis revealed that he had known Jade and her family for years picking her up in his bus to take her to school.
“We became firm friends with the McAfees and are really pleased to have been able to collect for the Hospice workers who do so much for Jade,” Denis told the Times.
Clerk of the Armoy course, Bill Kennedy, was another in attendance and he paid tribute to Denis and his family for their efforts.
He said: “On behalf of Armoy Road Racing Club we very much appreciate the hard work Denis and his family put in collecting money which goes to the community.
“It is down to the generosity of the likes of Denis and family that many charities have benefitted. They are to be commended.”
In addition to the £742 for charity, Denis also managed to gather a further £440 which goes to the Armoy Racing Club - a gesture much appreciated by Mr. Kennedy.
Debbie McAfee paid tribute to the commitment of the McMichaels.