Simmental Club BBQ and raffle to aid AANI

Simmental Club members Donna Fegan and Avril Stubbs have been busy selling raffle tickets to raise money for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland.  Picture: Julie Hazelton
Simmental Club members Donna Fegan and Avril Stubbs have been busy selling raffle tickets to raise money for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland. Picture: Julie Hazelton

A limited number of tickets are still available for the NI Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club’s annual charity BBQ and auction.

This year’s event takes place in Dungannon Rugby Club on Friday 10th August.

All proceeds will be donated to Air Ambulance Northern Ireland. Tickets are priced at £20 each, and are available on a first come, first served basis.

Club chairman Conrad Fegan explained: “We are supporting Air Ambulance Northern Ireland in memory of our highly esteemed committee member Thelma Gorman who lost her life in a tragic farm accident last year.”

Air Ambulance Northern Ireland marked its first anniversary earlier this month, and has been deployed more than 380 times during its first year in operation.

Farming accidents accounted for 10% of call outs.

The emergency helicopter service is a partnership between the charity Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS). Its crew members include 15 doctors and seven paramedics provided by NIAS, and the aircraft can reach any part of Northern Ireland within 25 minutes.

The initiative followed a 12-year campaign of lobbying and fundraising to get the service off the ground. However, with running costs of £5,500 per day, the charity must raise £2m each year to keep it going.

Its lead clinician, Dr Darren Monaghan, said: “We know that patients are alive today due to the care we provide in conjunction with the whole health service.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the population of Northern Ireland for their support and donations which allow this lifesaving service to continue.”

Conrad Fegan added: “The charity BBQ is one of the highlights of the club’s annual calendar, and has been running for almost 25 years at the Dungannon venue.

“We have been inundated with enquiries about tickets for the BBQ. I’d like to urge club members and friends to book early to avoid disappointment, as we expect a capacity crowd. Full payment is required at the time of booking, and tickets will not be reserved.”

Meanwhile, there is also a strong demand for tickets for the club’s charity raffle. First prize is the pedigree in-calf Simmental heifer Drumbulcan Honeybee, generously donated by Kenneth and Avril Stubbs and family from Irvinestown, County Fermanagh.

Other prizes include a 43” HD LED TV; one night B&B and use of the Spa at the Galgorm Resort near Ballymena; an SFS 1 Tonne plastic portable meal bin; and a Millwood Crafts wooden farm set.

Tickets for the raffle are £5 each, or three for £10. The winning tickets will be drawn at the BBQ on 10th August. Raffle tickets are available from Simmental Club committee members, and can also be purchased at Fermanagh County Show on Wednesday 8th August.

Club chairman Conrad Fegan is co-ordinating ticket sales for the BBQ. He can be contacted on mobile: 07932 839329.