Tony raises a tasty sum for Children In Need

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A Ballymoney butcher has raised a very tasty sum for Children In Need with a sizzling fundraiser.

Tony Osborne Family Butchers whetted people’s appetite for the annual charity drive by cooking free burgers outside the shop and went on to collect an incredible £1,475.98.

Hundreds flocked to the store on Main Street last Saturday week as Tony fried the steakburgers on a large barbeque.

Such was the interest that there was a non-stop queue for four-and-a-half hours. Tony gave away just under 600 burgers and around 400 free soft drinks and many people matched his generosity with their sizeable donations.

He said: “I was blown away. It’s tight at the minute for people but there was unbelievable generosity.

“There was no charge and it was left up to the person to decide what to donate.”

This is the second time Tony has run the fundraiser and he was assisted by his wife Sharon who came up with the idea and served the food.

The burgers were made by butcher James Gardiner while Tony’s daughter Emily and her friends Caitlin and Cassie collected the money. His brother-in-law David also lent a hand while other staff helped out

The collection ran from 9.30am until 4.30pm and there was great feedback from the public.

Tony added: “The feelgood factor was great. It was a great success.

“I was delighted but not surprised by the generosity. I would like to thank everyone who helped and we plan to do it every year.”

Northern Bank official Irene Burke collected the large cheque from Tony to give to Children In Need and praised everyone’s charitable spirit.

She said: “I think it’s brilliant and it’s very Ballymoney-minded for the people to be generous. It’s nice to see Ballymoney people support Ballymoney shops because it has a lot to offer.”