A recent climb to the top of one of North Antrim’s most prominent landmarks – Knocklayde – by a group of charity supporters has raised more than £3,500 for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. Well above what the organisers had anticipated.
However, when you display the enthusiasm and commitment of organisers, Robert Stewart, Ivan King and the management at The Scenic Inn, Armoy, the outcome was hardly surprising.
The walk, undertaken by a large crowd of volunteers each of whom had gained sponsorship, took place on Saturday, October 4 when an enjoyable morning’s climb in tougher circumstances than many had predicted but with an amount for £3545 raised was experienced.
A cheque for the grand total was handed over to the local community fundraiser for the Children’s Hospice, Catherine O’Hara, at the home of Stranocum teenager, Jade McAfee who has suffered a neurological disorder for years.
The walk was carried out on behalf of Jade, a popular and brave young girl who has greatly inspired many in the community.
Speaking on her behalf, Jade’s mum Debbie, thanked everyone who had taken part and praised the amount raised.
“Jade greatly appreciates this gesture as we all do in the McAfee family. I have no doubt the money will be put to very good use,” Debbie said.
Ivan King and Robert Stewart, both from Dervock, as well as The Scenic and many other volunteers, all of whom are no strangers to fund-raising for good causes, said they were delighted with the amount and none more so than Catherine O’Hara who aptly summed it up by commenting: “This shows the pulling power of compassion.”
Ivan said: “We linked up with The Scenic because we know how good they are at getting support from the public. We have no doubt that this venture was greatly helped by their contribution.”
Shirley McKinley on behalf of the Scenic donated a substantial amount for the Hospice as well as refreshments for the walkers afterward the climb.
Speaking to the Times, she revealed that the climb would take place again next year. She added: “The event was a great success and we are hoping to do it again next year for another worthy charity.”
* Knocklayde looms about 1600 feet above Ballycastle.