Charity auction heads to Ballymena

Richards Charolais Heifer (pictured) will be up for auction on the night and has already generated much interest from potential buyers. Her full sale price will be donated to Childrens Heartbeat Trust.
Richards Charolais Heifer (pictured) will be up for auction on the night and has already generated much interest from potential buyers. Her full sale price will be donated to Childrens Heartbeat Trust.

Items estimated at a value of more than £10,000 have so far been donated for Ballymena Livestock Market’s Charity Auction on Thursday in conjunction with Gleno Young Farmers.

Amongst the livestock lining up for the highest bidder will be two heifers and a calf, kindly donated by farmers from across NI. The hammer will also come down on a range of farm produce, from animal feed and vet supplies, to heating oil and weekend breaks.

Ballymena Livestock Market and Gleno Young Farmers have teamed up with Markethill Livestock Market to raise funds to help purchase a new portable echocardiogram machine for the new Children’s Heart Centre currently being developed at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and help the Children’s Heartbeat Trust in their work supporting local children and young people living with heart disease in Northern Ireland.

The charity has been involved in the development of the Children’s Heart Centre since it’s conception and will provide financial support to kit out and create a world class, child and family-centred environment within the new centre. The first auction in Markethill last week raised over £50,000, putting them well on the way to raising the funds for the new echocardiogram machine.

The fundraising idea came from Richard Powell, from Keady, whose daughter, Grace, lives with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). Grace, who is now eight, was diagnosed during a neonatal scan and underwent surgical procedures at three and six months of age, before undergoing major heart surgery at the age of five.

Richard’s family business, WK Powell & Son, made the first donation to the auction of a Charolais heifer which has been shown throughout the year ahead of the auction and has already generated a lot of interest from buyers.

Speaking ahead of the auction, Lynn Cowan, Children’s Heartbeat Trust Fundraiser, said: “The generosity of local businesses so far has been incredible. From vet supplies to toy tractors, right through to weekend breaks and Ulster Rugby tickets. There is something for everyone. We are extremely grateful for all the support that has been received and want to thank everyone so far for their generosity. When the hammer strikes this week, there will be opportunity to bid on all these items, including Richard’s Charolais heifer, and we hope that farmers from far and wide will come along and dig deep for this good cause. We are indebted to Richard along with both Ballymena and Markethill livestock markets and Gleno Young Farmers for their incredible support in funding the new echocardiogram machine.”

The Ballymena Auction takes place on Thursday 30th November at 6.30pm sharp,

For those who wish to contribute to Mart’s fundraising target but are unable to attend, an online donation page has been set up and any donations will be gratefully received in helping them achieve their £50,000 total. Please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LivestockAuctions

For further information and the latest updates on the Christmas Show, Sale and Auctions please check out Ballymena Livestock Facebook pages or by visiting www.childrensheartbeattrust.org.