The 19th Newry Business Annual Christmas Charity Dinner took place with over 600 guests in attendance in the Canal Court last month, raising an amazing £78,830 for 19 local charities.

The now famous Toy Mountain dominated the lobby of the Canal Court Hotel and was disassembled by St Coleman’s College and Newry High School volunteers who assisted St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army to move the toys, to be distributed by both charities to families in need in time for Christmas.

Five children from the district were recipients of a Dream Holiday voucher. The children were nominated to the Christmas Charity Committee by their respective schools as each has had to face a range of challenges in their young lives.

Chair of the Committee Declan McChesney presented the children with their vouchers saying, “This event allows us to give something back to these young boys and girls who we first met when we visited the wonderful Santa’s Cottage in Hilltown.”

The recipients were: Daisy Chapman from Dromintee Primary School; Calleigh Rodgers from Grange Primary School, Kilkeel; Clodagh and Niamh O’Donnell from St Mary’s Primary School in Ballyward and Ella Gribben from St Malachy’s Primary School in Castlewellan.

The event, one of the largest charitable dinner events in Northern Ireland, is the 19th in succession and guests enjoyed entertainment from singer Peter Corry and actresses Rozlyn Sheridan and Teresa McBride, of Wine O Clock fame.

President of the Chamber Paul McConvery said: “Each year this event is a huge undertaking by a small committee of very dedicated members and the support we receive from the big hearted business community drives us to do more each year for our very deserving charities. The school choirs, musicians from St Coleman’s College, The Abbey Grammar, St Patrick’s and Windsor Hill Primary Schools and the toy mountain elves from St Joseph’s PS were fantastic and really set the tone for the event and we thank the schools, parents and children for their support.”

“It’s truly unique to gather over 600 people for dinner in the name of these very deserving local Charities,” Paul added.

The 19 Charities to benefit from this year’s event are:

Action on Elder Abuse Northern Ireland

– Air Ambulance Northern Ireland

– Clanrye Group

– Community Rescue Service

– Children’s Ward Daisy Hill Hospital

– Down Right Brilliant

– Ellen’s Journey

– Life and Time

– MS Society Northern Ireland

– Newry Helping the Homeless

– PIPS Hope and Support

– The Salvation Army UK and ROI

– Southern Area Hospice


– St. Vincent de Paul Ireland

– The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust

– Women’s Aid ArmaghDown

– Bite n Banter For Christmas

– Rathore School

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