Event raises over £11k for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland

Air ambo fundraiser SM Farm

The Crossmaglen Annual Festival of Lights Truck Run has raised an amazing £11,086 for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (NI), enough to fund the charity for two full days.

Celebrating its sixth anniversary this year, this was the largest Festival of Lights Truck Run event to date.

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A total of 348 trucks took part in the special light up truck convoy along a 30-mile route through south Armagh and County Louth that started and finished in Crossmaglen.

The event was held on Saturday, October 26, and also involved locally provided music, festival rides, refreshments for all attendees and a fun-filled, community atmosphere.

Money raised by this event was in aid of Air Ambulance NI which provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for Northern Ireland, together with partners at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS).

The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the Province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately 25 minutes.

Colleen Milligan, Area Fundraising Manager, Air Ambulance NI, said: “We would really love to thank everyone at this event for such a successful night which raised so much money for our charity.

“From the organisers and the stewards, to the attendees, the ladies who managed registration and the drivers themselves, everyone worked so hard to ensure the event was the success it was.

“It takes £5,500 a day to provide our vital services to the people of Northern Ireland.

“Their work and the money they raised will help us keep our helicopter in the sky.”

Since the air ambulance first took to the skies in 2017 it has been tasked to over 1,100 emergency missions, 178 of which have been in the Newry, Mourne and Down area.

David Rushe, a co-organiser of the event, along with Gerard Murray and Gerard McMonagle, said: “We’re so proud to be able to organise such a community focused event that is able to raise money in a safe and fun-filled way.

“This is a local event made possible by local support and we’re so grateful to everyone who got involved.

“Gerard Murray, Gerard McMonagle and I are all involved in the fire services, so we have a great appreciation for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and what they do.

“It’s fantastic to be able to raise valuable funds for the charity and awareness of what they do in our area.”

n To donate or learn more about Air Ambulance NI, visit its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AirAmbulanceNorthernIreland/) or website (www.airambulanceni.org), or call 028 9262 2677.

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