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Ballymena ‘Bear’ helps launch Borough’s Christmas card with Castle Tower pupil Zoe’s winning design

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Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE thanked all the pupils who attended from Castle Tower and who enjoyed tea in the Mayor’s Parlour. Also pictured is art teacher, Marie O’Connor

The latest guest appearance by an increasingly high profile Bella, the famous Ballymena Bear’s girlfriend, took place today at The Mayor’s Parlour, The Braid, Ballymena.

The iconic festive lady bear was the ‘celebrity guest’ on hand to help the Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE officially unveil Mid and East Antrim Borough’s Christmas card.

The card was designed by Zoe Clyde a pupil at Castle Tower School, whose design was picked from over 100 entries, including 14 finalists.

Zoe was delighted to receive the very first of the Borough’s Christmas cards, using her exclusive front cover design.

She was equally happy to not only have tea with the Mayor in her Parlour, but also to take home her own ‘Bella Bear’, who had taken time off from a busy promotional schedule to attend the event.

“This is really the opening of our festive season, with the official Mid and East Antrim Borough Christmas Card now launched,” said Cllr Wales.

“It was very difficult to choose an overall winner as all the talented young people from Castle Tower School produced amazing artwork, but in the end, Zoe’s shone through.

“I am very grateful to both the art teacher, Marie O’Connor and school principal Raymond McFeeters for all their help in organising this competition – as well as to the Ballymena Bear for attending and helping to make Zoe’s Christmas really special too,” she said.

This is the second seasonal contribution from Castle Tower School as pupil Aaron Gilmore previously volunteered to turn on the Christmas tree lights in Ballymena, with the Mayor – and of course – the equally famous Ballymena Bear himself – who is also getting round a lot these past few weeks, now assisted by his girlfriend, Bella

Finally, Cllr Wales thanked all the pupils who attended from Castle Tower: Tierna McMullan; Caolan O’Boyle; Eoin Crilly; Harry Cairns; Paul Marks; Rebecca McAnally; Nicole Millar; Shaceara Clail; Cormac Gallagher; Daniel McCrudden and of course, Zoe Clyde.

The full Christmas card competition display is now on view outside the café in The Braid, so that everyone can enjoy the work of Castle Tower School’s young artists.

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