By Claire Smith
Ballycastle Cancer Research Support Group have recorded their best-ever fund raising effort.
The group raised an impressive 1409.09 during their annual Big Breakfast on March 12 and with donations still being received they look likely to top the 1500 mark.
The staggering total is almost double the amount raised last year and has exceeded even the organisers’ expectations.
A record number of visitors including children on their way to school packed into the Presbyterian Church Hall on Castle Street to tuck into a healthy portion of cereal, toast and fruit juice – an alternative to their traditional Ulster fry.
Indeed volunteers were kept on their toes all morning with the steady stream of people attending until the doors closed at 1pm.
Eileen McAlister, Assistant Treasurer of the Ballycastle branch who helped out at the Big Breakfast said: "The event was really well supported by everyone in the town. We really appreciate their support. It was great to see so many people coming out that Friday morning.
"This was the biggest we have ever had and I think it is fair to say it was our best ever. However we hope that next year will be even better."
This is the fifth successive year that a Big Breakfast has been held in Ballycastle and the Research Support Group are delighted by the growing response.
It forms part of a national campaign to raise funds for vital research work into one of Northern Ireland’s biggest killers and is an attempt to educate people that as the most important meal of the day, breakfast should be healthy.
Cancer affects one in three people so few of us go through life without coming into contact with the disease in some way – be it through personal experience or through a friend or family member. And since the average life expectancy in the UK has doubled, the population risk form cancer has increased.
Despite the death rates from other diseases falling the risk from cancer remains constant. Research into cancer is costly and depends almost entirely on public donations. Therefore money from fund raising events like the Big Breakfast is essential for the charity’s survival without which many more lives would be lost.
The organisers of would like to thank everyone who attended, donated or helped out in any way to make this years’ Big Breakfast such a success.
A door-to-door collection will take place in Ballycastle in the week commencing May 31.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the Ballycastle Cancer Research Support Group should contact Eileen McAlister, Betty Wilkinson, Kitty Williams or Dr Godfrey Brown.