A raffle for a pedigree heifer donated by a Co Armagh priest in memory of his late sister has raised £46,000 for cancer charity Marie Curie.
The Rose Moore Memorial raffle featured the top prize of an Aberdeen Angus heifer from the award-winning Millbrae Herd.
Millbrae Black Caoimhe X891 was generously donated by Fr Sean Moore from Middletown, in memory of his sister Rose who lost her brave battle with ovarian cancer two years ago.
Father Moore has been breeding Aberdeen Angus cattle for almost 25 years, and has been overwhelmed by the support received from family, friends, and the local and wider community.
“The support for the raffle has been phenomenal, and has far exceeded my initial expectations. I wanted to do something in memory of my late sister Rose, and I am delighted to be presenting a cheque for £46,000 to Marie Curie,” he said.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who sold or bought tickets, donated money and prizes, and contributed to the success of the raffle. Tickets were sold across the north and south of Ireland, England and Scotland, and as far afield as the USA.
“Special thanks to my trusty team of volunteers, Bernie McBride, Lisa Moynagh and Martin McArdle.”
The winning tickets were drawn at a community event held in Middletown at the end of January.
The evening was well supported and featured face painting, live music from the Colorado Cowboy (Stephen Lappin), and supper. Compere for the evening was Paschal Hughes, and a number of local businesses donated items for a free raffle on the night.
The star prize, Millbrae Black Caoimhe X891, was won by Danny McCague, Derrynoose, Keady.
Second prize of dinner, bed and breakfast at the Titanic Hotel in Belfast, plus £200 spending money, was won by Eoin McNally from Middletown.
Four additional tickets were drawn, with the winners each receiving £200 cash prizes. They included Ronan McElroy from Augher, Co Tyrone; Breige Duffy from Annyalla, Co Monaghan; Jack Woods and Jack McKee, both from Middletown.
Accepting the cheque on behalf of Armagh Marie Curie Fundraising Group, chairperson Renate Kyle said: “What an achievement! Well done, and thank you to Father Sean Moore and his team for raising such a fantastic amount of money.
“On behalf of Marie Curie, thank you very much to everybody who supported the raffle. This is a truly amazing amount of money, and will be used to provide care and support for terminally ill patients and their families.”
A former nurse, Renate was one of the founding members of the fundraising group. It was recently honoured at a civic reception to mark its 30-year anniversary, and fundraising initiatives which have exceeded more than £1.2m.
Hylda Mills, chairperson of the NI Aberdeen Angus Club, congratulated Father Moore, and his family, on their fundraising efforts.
She said: “£46,000 is a tremendous amount of money, and a very fitting tribute to the late Rose Moore. She was a lady with a great sense of community spirit, and a keen interest in farming and pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle.
“Father Sean Moore is a valued member of the NI Aberdeen Angus Club, and his Millbrae Herd regularly features on the prize list of the club ‘s annual herd competition.
“Millbrae Black Caoimhe is a well-bred heifer by Oakchurch de Admiral, and out of a home-bred dam by the 19,000gns Blelack Evermore. I know numerous breeders who purchased tickets in hope of winning the star prize. Congratulations to the winner.”
Fr Sean Moore and members of his family, Ellen Moore, Lisa and Caoimhe Moynah, with Hylda Mills, chairperson, NI Aberdeen Angus Club, present a cheque for £46,000 to Renate Kyle, chairperson, Armagh Marie Curie Fundraising Group. Picture: Julie Hazelton