The team behind an online appeal to raise funds in memory of a Ballymena soldier who passed away earlier this month say they are overwhelmed by the response from the public.
The Just Giving page was set up on Thursday in memory of Afghan war veteran Andy McFarland in a bid to send his three children to Disneyland.
In under 13 hours, the page had received numerous donations, with £1,490 of the £3,000 target raised.
By Monday, the money donated was 95 per cent of the way to reaching the target, with £2,870 raised.
Lance Corporal McFarland’s death on July 12 sent shock waves around the local community and there have been hundreds of tributes paid to the soldier who had served with great distinction in Afghanistan with the Royal Irish Regiment.
The creators of Just Giving page have thanked the public for their generous donations.
“The response is nothing short or remarkable,” W Wilson said.
He added: “It shows his friends, colleagues and family just how well he was thought of and respected.
“We as a group have many events planned within the next few months some of which will be run by military personal and also civilian personal which will add to the cause.”
W Wilson told the Times that a group of friends had felt they needed to do something in L/Cpl McFarland’s memory and had struck upon the idea of sending his children to Disneyland.
“We wanted to do something for Andy and this seemed the most appropriate thing,” W Wilson said.
He added: “Andy was loved and respected by all his comrades and peers.
“It was only right that as group of friends we came together to do something in his memory.”
“The fundraising has taken off to such an extent, with more events planned, that any additional money raised will be donated to Combat Stress in Andy’s memory.
“We can’t thank the public enough for their kind and generous donations so far.”
To make a donation to the Just Giving page, visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/w-wilson-1