The RAF Association’s Carrickfergus Branch, which covers Whitehead through Carrickfergus and Greenisland to Newtownabbey and Glengormley has paid tribute to the generosity of people of the area.
A mammoth total of £40,000 has been achieved by the branch ‘wings appeal’ yet again following similar campaigns in 2013 and 2015.
Wing Commander Noel Williams, the Branch Wings Appeal Organiser, said: “I am absolutely amazed at this staggering total we have raised and not only want to thank the kindness of residents, but the hard work of Branch members as they manned our stalls over a 10-week period.
“The £40,000 barrier, in these tough post Brexit financial times, is a massive mountain to have climbed. The generosity I have witnessed at the many stalls we set up right across our catchment area, including our new presence in the Northcott Shopping Centre, Glengormley, has staggered us all.
“People just love to interact with our older veterans and recognise the service they have given to their country, and are supportive of them.
“They are also mindful of the commitment of our younger veterans, and when coupled with the particular milestone of the 70th Birthday of the Branch, led them to acknowledge their needs by giving extremely generously, hence our outstanding total of £40,174.67.”
Branch President, Claire Pauley, said: “I am thrilled how people have again ‘dug deep’ and supported our welfare work so freely. The RAF Association continues to play a vital role in providing welfare support and relief for our veterans who served in the RAF, and their families.”
Branch Chairman, Colin Murphy, remarked: “We would particularly thank the veterans, and many other helpers, who freely offered their assistance, often for long hours, to raise funds throughout 2016.”
Wg Cdr Williams concluded: “I must commend the business outlets that supported us so wonderfully during the past 10 weeks, together with the remarkable generosity of the residents from Whitehead right through to Glengormley. Namely TESCO’s at Carrickfergus, Northcott Shopping Centre in Glengormley, shops in Kings Crescent and Abbots Cross Whiteabbey, Sainsbury’s in Carrickfergus, the Milestone on Middle Road, Topaz Petrol Station in Greenisland, the DeCourcey Centre and Eurospar in Victoria, and of course the many other smaller shops, pubs and clubs that support us throughout the year.
“Likewise, the schools and churches (including the Black Santa) who gave of their facilities so selflessly and generously to assist our welfare work; making it possible to £40,174.67. You all have our gratitude and I thank you on behalf of those who are unable to do so personally.”