Lantern bearers light the way

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THREE Cookstown people from the community and voluntary sector will be lantern bearers when the Paralympic flame comes to town this weekend.

The three, Aidan Campbell, Ann Wilson and Denise McGorry, were chosen by Cookstown District Council to play a vital role in the District welcome of the Paralympic Flame at the free Family Fun Day to be held at Mid Ulster Sports Arena on Saturday (August 25) running from 4pm to 7pm.

Nominations were received after a call for inspirational people who could become Lantern Bearers in the evening’s Lantern Procession.

Successful nominees were chosen on the criteria of having displayed the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality to make a difference or push the boundaries of what is achievable.

The first Lantern Bearer is Aidan Campbell, who is a familiar face in Cookstown in his work at Shopmobility, based in the Burnavon.

Aidan was nominated by his employer, Mark Farquhar, who when giving his reasons for nomination said: “Aidan is one of the most helpful and friendliest people I know. He has been a volunteer with Shopmobility for over two years. Aidan is always very enthusiastic about volunteering and commits to up to 20 hours each week. He is a credit to his parents and family and is very well-known throughout the Cookstown area.”

Second to become a part of the welcome celebrations is Ann Wilson, Chairperson of Cookstown Superstars (a local club that works with those with a learning disability), who was nominated by her brother-in-law, Trevor Wilson.

He said: “Ann’s enthusiasm is infectious and nothing is too much trouble for her. She works extremely hard, always going the extra mile to ensure that her superstars enjoy club activities and benefit from them. She is truly selfless and inspirational.”

Last but not least Denise McGorry, Chairperson of Cookstown MS Help and Support, was nominated by her husband, John McGorry.

He said: “Denise is Chairperson of the Cookstown MS group and has worked tirelessly for the group. Denise has also received a community and voluntary award for outstanding achievements”.

The three Lantern Bearers, members of their groups and Cookstown Flame Ambassadors Stephen Campbell and Chairman of Cookstown District Council, Cllr Tony Quinn will take part in a lantern procession to celebrate their achievements, pay welcome to the Paralympic Flame and celebrate the values of the competition.

There will be lots of fun for all the family at MUSA during the event. Disability Sport NI will assist in showcasing disability sport activities to include taster sessions, exhibition events and fun and games, and BBC’s The Voice UK contestant Sophie Griffin will perform a very special one-off performance for her home crowd.