|Joan Cunningham with the celebrity guest "Farmer Andy" from Cool FM who judged the best turned out Santas at the Christmas Charity Pleasure Ride in Saintfield in aid of under-privileged children in Uganda and Rwanda.||The horse-drawn carriage driven by George Fawcett and Jim Creighton lead the riders up the Main Street in Saintfield during the Christmas Charity Pleasure Ride.|
THE CHRISTMAS Charity Pleasure Ride held recently in Saintfield and organised by Joan Cunningham was a resounding success with around 100 riders of all ages from three to over seventy taking part.
The event raised funds for under-privileged children in Uganda and Rwanda who have lost their parents to AIDS or have been murdered and now live in an orphanage which has been established by Rock Children's Family, a project funded by Rock Ministries (NI) and urgently need more funds to extend the orphanage and care for the children's needs.
A great number of riders came dressed as Santa's and even their horses and ponies were joining in the festive spirit which gave the celebrity guest 'Farmer Andy' from Cool FM the very difficult job of judging the best turned out.
The riders set off on their hack around the roads and laneways before meeting up with Santa Claus in his horse-drawn carriage driven by George Fawcett and Jim Creighton and accompanied by 'Farmer Andy'. The Main Street in Saintfield was crowded with onlookers as the large and very colourful turnout made its way up the street giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful spectacle before Santa got out of the carriage to meet children around the Christmas tree and give out little surprises from his sack. On returning to the stable yard on Lisburn Road, lunch was awaiting and the prizes were presented courtesy of Joe Crawford the All Ireland Manager of Fort Dodge Animal Health. There were also rosettes and sweets for the children who had taken part and Santa Claus was there to chat with the little ones (and some big ones!) and hear what they wanted for Christmas.
Ian and Phyllis Hasson and Cecily Newman from Rock Ministries (NI) made the journey from Coleraine and were delighted to join in the fun and were very appreciative of the generosity shown. With more funds still to come in, Joan would like to thank everyone who helped in any way to make the event such a success, especially Joe Crawford from Fort Dodge Animal Health for the prizes, those who gave items for the auction, gave donations, helped with the catering, parking, stewarding, the local police who escorted the riders in the town, George Fawcett, Santa Claus (Mr. Sam Kerr), the media for the superb coverage and of course the celebrity guest 'Farmer Andy' from Cool FM who obviously had a great day out in the country.