Big thank you from

A right royal day out will help build homes in Ethiopia

Arvon Willlams and Abi McCartney.ONLY a very lucky group have been invited to the wedding of William and Kate later this month. But you can still feel as if you're going to the big day thanks to a unique event in Ballynahinch Baptist Church Hall.

There will be a live screening of the Royal Wedding to raise money for a Hunterhouse student who is going to Ethiopia in August as part of a Habitat for Humanity event. And 'guests' will be encouraged to dress up in their finery - just as if they were attending a real wedding.

Abi McCartney (17), a lower sixth student, is travelling to Ethiopia in August with a team which includes her- boyfriend Luke Williams (18), who is one of the co-leaders of the group from Hillsborough, to work on a house building project.

To help raise money Abi's mum Siobhan will host the Royal Wedding Celebration - a live screening of the wedding. Tickets are £10 which includes tea, coffee and shortbread followed by a buffet lunch after the ceremony. The event will begin at 10.15am.

Guests will be encouraged to dress up in wedding attire and there will be a wedding cake which has been donated by Jenny Cakes of Bangor.

"We thought it was a unique way of raising money and watching the Royal Wedding at the same time," Siobhan said.

"The Baptist Church were so good in letting us have the hall to show the wedding on a digital screen.

"We are encouraging people to dress up as they would to a wedding but there is no official dress code. If young people want to wear jeans then that is fine but we hope that many of the guests will dress up.

"We are also hoping to find out what the hymns at the wedding are beforehand so we can get them printed and can sing along with them during the service. We really want to make it a day to remember for everyone."

Over 150 people are expected to attend the event and Siobhan will also be contacting Clarence House and hope to have a letter from them in time to display on the day.

Luke, an upper sixth pupil at Wallace, is one of the co-leaders along with his father Arvon on the Habitat for Humanity project.

Since it began in 1990 Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia has been working with local communities to address the dire housing situation of poor Ethiopian families.

The local group will be travelling to Desi, north of the capital Addis Ababa, for two weeks to work as part of Habitat's Global Village Project. The project deals with families who have been impacted by leprosy, either directly or for example where children who have lost parents through leprosy have been taken in by grandparents.

The Royal Wedding Event will directly impact the project in Ethiopia, for just £1,200 they will be able to build an entire home in Ethiopia.

"It's great to think that so much good is coming from a day like this," said Siobhan.

People may also choose to buy a gift for William and Kate which will help build homes in Ethiopia.

The Habitat Wedding List includes everything from nails £1, essential tooIs £12, a window £39 or even clean water for the entire community £1150. For tickets contact siobhan or arvon@fsmaí

Ulster Star