Staff and customers of Ballymena Livestock Market have worked together to raise over £6500 for Macmillan Cancer Support this month. Hair, eyebrows and beards were cut, coloured and styled all for the good cause.
Yard supervisor, Jim Beggs, came up with the idea of a sponsored shave after burying a close family friend, Ruby Hart, just weeks ago.
“The Macmillan Unit in Antrim was a great support to my friend and her family in the last few days of her life. I wanted to do something practical to support the continued care of those suffering from cancer,” Jim said.
Keen to support Jim’s fundraising idea, staff member Johnny Getty volunteered to have his eyebrows trimmed and hair dyed pink.
There was no escape for the market customers either, as Victor Campbell got involved by shaving off his beard. On the day itself some other staff members including Johnny Mackey also wore pink hair with pride.
On Friday 25th March at 4pm the men took their places in the newly created “Shaving Station” where they were styled by Diane Bartlett, Gemma Moody and Hannah Griffith. A great crowd came to watch the event and Graham Loughery, auctioneer, sold some donated items in a short auction. This money combined with donations has created the total.
Sharing his thoughts on the event, Graham explained: “Jim told me his initial target was £500. I thought he would get more. It’s testament to Jim’s popularity and personality that he got so much support from friends, family, colleagues and customers to raise a fantastic amount of money for a charity close to his heart. Well done to Jim and his volunteers for their help.”
The Ringside Cafe has provided a hub for people to come together, discuss the event and enjoy the fun. Roberta Moody and her team have promoted the event with Macmillan t-shirts, balloons and flags as well as practical support like cups of tea. Their donation box has received some very generous donations.
The men involved have been really encouraged by the support they have received.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support from everyone. What started out as a personal thought and a bit of fun has turned into something that has really brought people together and raised an amount of money that I never imagined. It’s a crazy thing really.
“The farming community is facing difficult financial times at the moment but it is still clear to see where their priorities lie. This event shows how the community will pull together for others when it really matters.
“I realise that without the support of those around me the event never would have been the success that it was. It has been a real team effort,” Jim explained.
Vera McWilliam and Leslie McAdoo received the cheque on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Vera said: “It’s fabulous. All money raised in Northern Ireland stays within Northern Ireland and this money will go a long way to help a lot of people. On behalf of Macmillan we extend sincere thanks to the team at Ballymena Livestock Market and also to those who have kindly donated.”