Excitement builds for Santa Ride

Joan Cunningham, Organiser of the Saintfield Christmas Charity Santa Ride with Santa himself, Pius Kulama ( I Am Family Ministries) from Uganda and Alastair McIlveen (Northdown Marquees) at the 2019 Christmas Ride launch at Rowallane Garden Saintfield
Joan Cunningham, Organiser of the Saintfield Christmas Charity Santa Ride with Santa himself, Pius Kulama ( I Am Family Ministries) from Uganda and Alastair McIlveen (Northdown Marquees) at the 2019 Christmas Ride launch at Rowallane Garden Saintfield

Great excitement is building for the 2019 Saintfield Christmas charity Santa Ride which without doubt promises to be the biggest and best ever. It takes place on Saturday, December 7.

The Saintfield Christmas Charity Santa Ride started in 2007 to raise funds via Rock Ministries for underprivileged orphaned children whose parents had either died from Aids or had been murdered.

Pius Kulama (first person, back row from the left) with the Mwamba Choir at the 2009 Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride. Also included in the photo is Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) and Joan Cunningham, organiser of the event

Pius Kulama (first person, back row from the left) with the Mwamba Choir at the 2009 Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride. Also included in the photo is Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) and Joan Cunningham, organiser of the event

The Mawamba Choir from Uganda visited Saintfield in 2007 and again in 2009. Pius Kulama was a member of that choir in 2009 aged 14 at the time.

Sadly when Pius was only four years old and his little sister was only two both his parents died from Aids.

With the gift of sponsorship from ‘I Am Family Ministries’ Pius has been through University which has made him into the articulate well qualified young man that he is today with a Bachelor of Science degree.

He is now the principal of ‘I Am Academy’ school in his home village which educates and feeds about 350 orphaned and needy children Under I Am Family Ministries.

Pius Kulama, the Principal of I Am Academy (I Am Family Ministries).

Pius Kulama, the Principal of I Am Academy (I Am Family Ministries).

Over the past years since the ride began tens of thousands of pounds have been raised with most of it going to Rock Ministries NI Trust who have now retired.

Pius’s ambition in life is to give every child the same chance as he got of a good education, clean water and enough food to eat.

The organisers of the Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride want to make a massive difference to these children’s lives and raise as much money as possible for ‘I Am Family Ministries’.

The day commences with everyone arriving at 11.00am at Saintfield Livestock Mart for a mulled wine and mince pie reception and to register their entries. 12 noon the Santas mount up and ride into Saintfield Town led by the “Real Santa” in his Magnificent Horse Drawn Carriage. Meantime back on Saintfield Main St. at 12 noon the magnificent Hugo Duncan, Box Car Brian and Gerard Dornan will entertain the crowds. 1.00pm a couple of hundred Santas on horse back will swarm Saintfield Main Street turning it into a sea of red.

This is without doubt a most spectacular sight ever to be seen on this island.

Santa will alight from his carriage at the Christmas tree to meet and greet all the children.

At 2.00pm the Santas return to the marquee for lunch, more live music by the sensational Ashleigh Kirkpatrick and Alastair McIlveen from North Down Marquees will present the prizes for the best dressed Santas.

Entry to the marquee is free and anyone wishing to have lunch can do so for a donation of £5, children free.

The cost of the ride is £20 adults, £10 for children which includes the mulled wine and mince pie reception and lunch following the ride.

Further details contact Joan Cunningham on 07775860744 or email joancunningham1@gmail.com www.saintfieldhorseshow/christmascharityride.com.

A change has been made to the route for the 2019 Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride which now is as follows.

The route of the Santa Ride is as follows: Leave Saintfield Mart, turn left onto Main Belfast Road and then right onto the Lessans Road, after a few hundred yards turn right onto the Monlough Road. Follow along until the end of road which joins the Main Belfast Road turning left towards Saintfield. Turn into the second road on left which is the Windmill Road continue to the end. Turn right on to Station Road, continue along and straight up Saintfield Main Street. Continue towards Lisburn and then right onto Old Belfast Road after a mile and a half turn right onto Lessans Road and back to the mart.