Moneyrea Young Farmers’ Club has raised a phenomenal £20,180 for local charity Friends of the Cancer Centre, from their annual tractor run.
Moneyrea YFC decided to support Friends of the Cancer Centre as one of their members, Andrew Gill, was diagnosed with leukaemia in June 2016 and the charity has been a great support to him.
Commenting on what motivated the fundraising drive, Linzi Stewart, club chairperson said:
“Friends of the Cancer Centre has been a great support to Andrew and his family since his diagnosis. The club decided to raise money for the charity as a way of thanking them for making what has been a very difficult time that bit easier for Andrew and his family and our annual tractor run was the perfect opportunity to do this.
“We held the tractor run on Thursday 11th August and the 12 mile route started from Hillmount Garden Centre. It was incredible to see so many people take part as well as so many come along to spectate and support the Gill family. The support we received in the lead up to the tractor run and on the day itself was wonderful and we can’t thank people enough for getting behind us to support Andrew. The club and Andrew’s family are thrilled that the event went so well and most importantly, raised so much money for a really great cause.”
Andrew was allowed to leave the City Hospital for a few hours so he could attend and take part leading the convoy.
Andrew said: “I was totally overwhelmed at the number of people who took part in the road run and it was such an incredible sight to see over 350 vehicles attending on the night. I never thought that there would be so many people attending and it gave me such a lift to see everyone there. I was even more surprised when the local Massey Ferguson dealership allowed me to take part in the convoy in a brand new tractor.
“Along the way people were shouting and waving when they recognised me. It was such a great night and it meant so much to me as Friends of the Cancer Centre have been there for me and my family, especially Renee Reid who is Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Clinical Nurse Specialist for Teenagers and Young Adults.
“Renee has been so helpful to me and my family when we needed advice, information and support. I still can’t believe how much was raised and on behalf of my family I want to say a huge thank you to each and every person who came along and supported us.”
Friends of the Cancer Centre, based at the heart of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, is one of the leading cancer charities in Northern Ireland working to support cancer patients and their families through key projects in the areas of clinical care, patient comforts, and research.
Friends of the Cancer Centre is currently funding 28 additional staff in the Cancer Centre, including doctors, nurses and researchers and the charity is committed to raising at least £5million over the next three years to fund on-going and new projects which will continue to support local cancer patients.
Fundraising officer for Friends of the Cancer Centre, Sarah Breen, said: “Moneyrea YFC are fantastic supporters and they’ve done exceptionally well in raising so much money for Friends of the Cancer Centre. I would like to thank the club members for all their hard work in organising such an incredible event and to everyone who took part in the tractor run, as well as those who came out to support them on the day.
“The money raised will make a very big difference to the lives of patients and their families right across Northern Ireland.”
For information about Moneyrea YFC please contact Grace Morrow on 07587 248 912 or visit their Facebook page - Moneyrea YFC. The club meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at the Lyttle Memorial Hall, Moneyrea. New members are always welcome.