Orange Order goes extra mile

Members of the Orange family in Co Tyrone have gone the extra mile for charity in 2020.
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And there has perhaps been no better example of their dedication and determination than the success of the County Tyrone Grand Orange Lodge 10,000-mile summer fundraiser, which was to be completed before the Twelfth of July with the goal of raising £10,000.

Brethren, Sisters, Juniors and members of the wider Orange Family were asked to get their running shoes on and play their part in covering a distance equal to that between Northern Ireland and Australia!

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No small task but not only did the participants reach their goal, they went over and above with a massive £16,000 raised by lodges, members, family and friends across County Tyrone.

The money has now all been gathered in and the process of distributing donations to groups in the health sector has begun.

County Grand Master Wor Bro Perry Reid commented: “As Grand Master of Co Tyrone Orange I have been immensely proud of all the tremendous efforts of the Orange family during what has been a time of national crisis.

“When this very worthwhile endeavour was launched, I was confident we would get lots of people coming forward to take part. But I couldn’t have imagined we would have exceeded our target so impressively.

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“I would like to thank everyone who took part and all those who support us in our fundraising efforts. The money raised is going to worthwhile causes within the health sector to the benefit of the local people in Co Tyrone.”

To date, £6,000 has been distributed. £3,000 has been given to the mental health charity AWARE NI and £3,000 to St John Ambulance, which will be divided between the three branches in Co Tyrone - Clogher, Strabane and Castlederg.

The remaining money will be distributed in the coming months to other parts of the health sector.

Margaret McCrossan, Community and Events Fundraising Officer at AWARE, said they are delighted to be one of the beneficiaries of the Tyrone Orange Lodge 10,000 miles challenge.

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“It’s been great to see members come together at this difficult time to get active and raise vital funds for a number of different health related charities,” she said.

“Funds raised for AWARE will go towards expansion and development of our vital services, including our life-saving support groups and training programmes. We would like to say a huge thank you to all members involved in this fantastic fundraiser.”

Sandra Nixon, St John Ambulance Unit Manager Clogher, was delighted to receive the donation.

She said: “It is with grateful thanks that the Units of Clogher, Castlederg and Strabane accept the donation of £1,000 each from Co Tyrone Grand Orange Lodge in recognition of the work they do within the local communities.

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“This money will help with the purchase of new equipment required for training and ambulance compliance.”

An Orange Order spokesman said: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, members of the Orange Family have played a positive role in their communities right across the jurisdiction of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. This will continue into 2021 with the ‘CentenNIal’ celebrations in the months ahead.”

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