A Co Armagh family are staging a fundraising memorial night for a father and husband who passed away in March after a brave battle with motor neurone disease.
Stephen Lines was “smiling up until the night before he died,” his wife Tammy (pictured below) said.
And it would have been the Newtownhamilton man’s wish for “people to enjoy themselves” at the event.
The evening – to take place later this month – will raise money in memory of the father-of-two, with the Southern Area Hospice and Motor Neurone Disease Association set to benefit.
Wife Tammy told Armagh I : “Stephen’s wishes were to have a memorial night, a chance for everyone to get together with some music, some dancing and some drinks, while raising as much money for the charities as possible.
“He wasn’t religious in any way, he didn’t have a funeral service as such so this was an alternative for him.”
Tammy is no stranger to fundraising having previously abseiled down the Europa Hotel – in Belfast- to raise money for the MNDA last year.
But she was keen to give back to all those who had helped her husband so they may in turn help others in their time of need.
“The hospice really helped us so much,” explained Tammy. “Stephen was in the hospice three times, so we would like to give back to them as well as the Motor Neurone Disease Association.”
Stephen and Tammy had two children together Daisy and Noah and all are hoping for great support at their evening.
She said: “The children are doing alright, my daughter, she’s the oldest, has thrown herself into the organising and is trying to think of ideas and offering to help out.”
While a very emotional occasion it will be a rewarding and fitting one, although Tammy joked how many would be happy to hear that Stephen’s choice in music will not be played loud for all to hear on the night!
“His taste in music, if I am honest, I don’t think many people around here would be into it because he was into rock and metal and things like that,” she said. “That will not be an option on the night!”
But regardless of the music the real reason and the goal is the same – to raise money while celebrating and remembering a very special man to so many, many people.
“He would just want people to enjoy themselves because he was smiling right up to the night before he died,” said Tammy. “And I just think he would want everyone to have a good time.”
The memorial night will take place on May 25, at the Newtownhamilton rural community hall.
It will be a night of music and dancing with a bar and light supper.
There will be collections for donation along with a raffle.
And everyone is invited – indeed encouraged – to come along, enjoy the craic and support two very worthy causes.