By Noreen McEldowney

For 14 years the Phillips’ family have been hosting an annual BBQ fundraising event for charity.

Husband and wife duo; Sinclair and Elma Phillips explain how the event flourished with time.

“The first event was actually organised by the Mid-Ulster Lamb group which Sinclair was a part of,” said Elma.

“The group had discussed organising something that would help raise funds for charity and it was decided to host a BBQ. Sinclair, along with Stanley Hepburn, organised the first BBQ which took place at the Kilcronaghan Centre.”

The event would continue to take place there for the next five years until the Phillips family decided to take hold of the reigns completely.

“Well, by then the Mid-Ulster lamb group dissolved and we as a family decided that we would keep the event running,” continued Elma.

“It grew over the years and now we get hundreds of people coming each year. There is a lot of organising and tension before each event, but afterwards when we see how much people enjoyed it and how much we have managed to raise for charity and that is very rewarding.”

The Phillips’ son Crawford is responsible for the setting up of the marquee every year, whilst their son-in-law Mervyn McKenna is in charge of the food. “The Hepburn family are still heavily involved too,” said Elma.

“They do a lot of cooking and making for the event and we would be able to do it without their support. It is a credit to them the work they put into the event every year and we have to thank them for that.”

Over the years, the family have raised vital funds for charities such as Autism NI, Dementia NI and most recently for the Friends of Kilronan, in Magherafelt.

Just recently the Phillip’s family presented a cheque to the amount of £7,339 to the Friends of Kilronan, Magherafelt, which was raised at the family fundraiser last year.

Elma and Sinclair took this opportunity to thank all the local people for their ongoing support to the event.

“We also have to thank Mid-Ulster council for their ongoing support and assistance every year, we could not do it without them,” added Elma.

The Phillips family said they are now looking forward to their 15th annual charity BBQ, which will take place in August.

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