Annie Mullan, Patsy Gormley, Donall Henderson, Annette Gamble, Gareth Feene, Vincent McCloskey, Desmond O'Kane, Anne Marie O'Hagan, Kieran O'Kane, Gerry Murphy.
In August a record breaking 159 tractors descended on the small village of Park to take part in the Park and District Farmers Association annual tractor run.
Each year the tractor run is held to raise funds for charity and in memory or in support of local farmers.
This year the tractor run was held in memory of local farmer and long-standing member of the group, Benny O’Kane.
Benny passed away aged 83 on May 25, 2019 after a fight with cancer.
Benny was well known in farming circles, both in Park and further afield as he was a farmer, dealer, merchant of meal and other agricultural produce for over 60 years. Benny loved farming and was still working as much as he could right up to his death. As a regular attender at sheep markets in Draperstown, Plumbridge and Donemana not many did not know him and he had a word for them all. The turnout at the tractor run and generosity of the farmers and other contributors was a testament to this, with the event and subsequent donations raising an amazing £27,060. The funds, to be shared between Cancer Research UK Northern Ireland and Foyle Hospice, was raised through donations, raffles and an auction of livestock and other donated items.
The family of Benny wish to thank Park and District Farms Association for organising and supporting the event, all those who donated prizes and auction items and all who attended or donated.
Donall Henderson of the Foyle Hospice said: “Foyle Hospice is delighted to have been chosen as one of the two charities to benefit from the recent Tractor Run in memory of Benny O’Kane. We would like to thank Benny’s family and friends who undertook this event. It was a privilege for our team to support Benny and his family.
Thanks so much for their huge efforts to Park Farmers Group, many local businesses and the wider local community for supporting this cause. We are so grateful for the extremely generous donation received as a result. Foyle Hospice relies heavily on these types of events to ensure we can offer our services and support to patients and their families.”
Adele Stevenson, Area fundraising manager speaking on behalf of Cancer Research UK added: “Each step we take towards beating cancer relies on every pound, every hour and every person. More than 25 people are diagnosed in Northern Ireland with cancer every single day – that’s over 9,250 per year. While survival rates here have increased over the last 50 years, Northern Ireland still ranks below other European countries. We want to thank Annie Mullan, the Park and District Farmers Association and the rest of Benny’s family for donating this amazing total which will help people here beat cancer sooner.”
“Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives but that’s only possible thanks to the commitment of local people like these without whom it would not be possible to fund outstanding scientists, doctors and nurses here in Northern Ireland.”
Want to find out more about Cancer Research UK in Northern Ireland? Contact northernireland@c ancer.org.uk
Further information available from Annie Mullan: firstname.lastname@example.org
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