Villa Bar and Grill in Portstewart has raised £1495 for the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust’s next trip to Lapland on 17 December 2019.
The Northern Ireland Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust (NICLT) fundraises to fulfil the dreams of terminally ill, life limited and deserving children by taking them to see Santa at his home in Lapland, Finland. In Northern Ireland, at any given time, there are approximately 1500 children suffering from a terminal illness or life limiting illness.
Children are nominated by health workers based throughout all of the paediatric departments and hospitals in Northern Ireland. Doctors, nurses and allied health professionals give up their own time to volunteer to ensure the children can experience a magical time of memories.
Thanking Villa Bar and Grill and discussing the important role that the charity plays in creating magical memories for life limited children Colin Barkley, the Trust’s newly appointed chair, said:
“We were delighted to have been nominated by 19-time Isle of Man TT winner, Michael Dunlop, and his business partner, Maggie McWilliams, as their charity during this year’s North West 200 road races. Over the weekend of the NW 200, customers donated money and their door staff walked the course on the Sunday, collecting donations along the way.
“We are very grateful to everyone got behind the Villa Bar and Restaurant’s fundraising efforts. Fundraising is at the core of everything we do. The simple fact is that the more money we raise, the more children we can help and at the end of the day this is what we are here to do.
“We are the only charity in the world to charter a private plane for 220 to Lapland in Finland. We started with a 140-seater aircraft, increasing a number of years ago to a 220-seater, and we are keen to increase that once again to a 320-seater for December 2020.”
The charity’s President, broadcaster and journalist Gerry Kelly, encourages people to support the fundraising efforts: “Like Colin, I have been involved with the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust since it was first established over a decade ago. The charity’s concept is simple … to give ‘terminally ill, life limited and deserving children’ the trip of a lifetime, to meet Santa Claus, at his home in Lapland, in the run up to Christmas.
“For the past few years we have been able to take the children to Santa Park in Roveniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus on the Arctic Circle in Lapland in Finland. It is an incredible underground facility which offers just about everything the kids could wish for as well as the space outside for all of the traditional ‘snow fun’ activities.
“The fantastic fun-packed day includes reindeer and husky dog rides; mini skidoo adventures; snow mobile safari; and magic sleigh rides which are all brought in exclusively to the resort for our children. Other highlights include Mrs Claus Gingerbread Bakery; Santa’s office; Ice Gallery; Crossing the Arctic Circle; Angry Birds activity area; elf school and workshop; elves’ post office; and a private meeting with Santa Claus in his grotto! It is truly a magical day.”