Dairy cattle breed club Holstein NI has presented a cheque for more than £13,000 to the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s University Belfast.
The money was raised as a result of the club’s inaugural open day and stock judging competition, hosted recently by Armagh dairy herd owners Ivor and Cecilia Broomfield.
More than 400 visitors travelled from as far afield as Galway to attend the Ecosyl-sponsored event which featured a host of agricultural trade stands, informative workshops, children’s entertainment, a cake stall and various competitions.
One of the highlights was a charity auction, which included embryos and three pedigree Holstein calves, as well as numerous other items generously donated by local farmers and businesses.
The Broomfield family own the 90-cow Moneyquin Herd and were overwhelmed at the success of the open day. Speaking during a visit to the CCRCB facility in Belfast Ivor Broomfield said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generous support, and Cecilia and I are delighted that £13,082.62 has been raised for our nominated charity.
“The success of the event, and the phenomenal amount of money raised, is a fantastic tribute to Cecilia’s sister, Carol Hanthorn, who lost a brave battle with breast cancer two years ago.”
Ivor and Cecilia Broomfield, and representatives of Holstein NI, including breeders who donated and purchased the calves at auction, were welcomed to the CCRCB facility by Dr Kienan Savage, and head of medical fundraising, Helen Surgenor.
Dr Savage expressed his sincere appreciation for the Holstein NI donation. “On behalf of CCRCB I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the successful running of the Holstein NI open day. It was a very interesting and enjoyable event, and we are delighted to receive this staggering amount of money, one hundred per cent of which will fund cancer research in Northern Ireland.”
The 5,000m ² Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology opened in 2007, and receives international recognition as a Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence. Dr Savage continued: “Our research focuses on cancers such as breast, ovarian, pancreatic and bowel, as well as cancers of the blood. When CCRCB opened its doors, Northern Ireland had one of the lowest cancer survival rates in the UK. Nine years later, and I am delighted that the statistics have improved dramatically, with Northern Ireland ranked as having one of the highest cancer survival rates in the UK.”
Located beside Belfast City Hospital, CCRCB brings together scientists, doctors and nurses, who, by sharing knowledge and expertise, are continually developing tests and treatments to improve the outcome of patients with cancer.
Dr Savage added: “We have already identified tests to help those with hereditary breast cancer; pioneered a unique combination treatment for men with aggressive prostate cancer; and explored new ways of treating bowel cancer that has become resistant to chemotherapy.”
Holstein NI chairman John Berry said: “A big thank you to everyone who supported our open day, and a special word of thanks to Ivor and Cecilia for hosting the event. We are also grateful to everyone who contributed items for the charity auction, especially the breeders who donated pedigree heifer calves.”
The Broomfield family’s Moneyquin Aikman Carol Red sold for £1,200 and was purchased by breeders Desi and Gary Reid for their Drumbo herd.
Neighbouring farmer Robert Keys donated Millford Celeb Carole Red, which attracted a bid of £1,150 from Lee McKinstry owner of the Drumconwell Herd in Armagh.
Alan, Sylvia and David Irwin from Benburb, donated Redhouse 1738 Supersire Dot, purchased for £1,100 by Joe and John Berry of the Skybrook Herd also in Armagh.
CCRCB is hosting an Open Day to showcase its facilities and world-class innovative research on Saturday 22 October from 11am to 3pm. The itinerary includes activities for all members of the family, talks and lab tours. For further information log on to www.qub.ac.uk/ccrcb.
Alternatively, anyone interested in making a personal donation, or in fundraising for CCRCB, should contact Helen Surgenor tel: 028 9097 1568.