Support Cookstown’s Black Santa campaign

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The Black Santa Appeal is usually associated with Belfast and has successfully been raising money for noteworthy charities.

This December, four well-known local businessmen have come together to bring a cross community Black Santa event to Cookstown town centre.

They will be raising money for four local charities in the Cookstown area namely SVP, Superstars, Kildress health Matters and MS Support Group.

The businessmen spearheading the project are Des Keenan, Denis Loughrey, Dennis Black and Tom Patrick.

Mid-Ulster Council is also supporting and promoting their efforts followng the launch at the Burnavon Arts Centre on Monday afternoon.

The Chairman of Mid Ulster District Council attended and music was supplied by the Bridge Choir.

Ryan the Balloon Expert entertained the children, as did the local Fire Brigade.

The Black Santas are seeking public support for this very worthy cause.

All money raised will go to the four chosen charities.

There will also be a subsequent all-day collection at Asda store this Saturday, December 21.

The event will culminate in a Dine and Cabaret evening in the Glenavon Hotel on January 25.

Artistes performing will include Malachy Cush, Justin McGurk, Andrea Begley and Gerry Loughran.

Guest speakers on the night will be Tyrone GAA legend Peter Canavan and TV pundit Liam Beckett MBE.

Tickets are available - a table for 10 costs £500.

So, if you see a caped guy in the vicinity of Burnavon, please donate as he will be a Black Santa, and they will be collecting from December 16 to December 23.

Appealing for support, Des Keenan added: “Our thanks to all the schools, businesses, factories and members of the public from across the community who have pledged their support for these worthy charities.”