Ballyclare band launches new fundraising initiative

John Fittis (Pipe Major) leading the band at the Torrens Hall. Pic by John Kelly
John Fittis (Pipe Major) leading the band at the Torrens Hall. Pic by John Kelly

Supporters of Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band have launched a new initiative aimed at raising much needed funding for the band.

The Sinclair Funders initiative was officially launched last week at the Torrens Hall in Doagh, where the special guests were South Antrim MLA Paul Girvan, his wife Alderman Mandy Girvan and their son Councillor Tim Girvan, who each sponsored a drum on behalf of The Sinclair Funders with a generous family donation of £200.

South Antrim MLA Paul Girvan and his wife Alderman Mandy Girvan and their son Councillor Tim Girvan pictured at the drums they each sponsored on behalf of The Sinclair Funders. The Girvan family helped launch The Sinclair Funders fundraising initiative with a generous family donation of �200. Also included are MSM Pipe Band members John Fittis (Pipe Major), Matthew Shaw (Drum Sergeant), Oliver McIlwaine, Zach McCauley and Evie McKeown. INNT 13-504CON Pic by John Kelly

South Antrim MLA Paul Girvan and his wife Alderman Mandy Girvan and their son Councillor Tim Girvan pictured at the drums they each sponsored on behalf of The Sinclair Funders. The Girvan family helped launch The Sinclair Funders fundraising initiative with a generous family donation of �200. Also included are MSM Pipe Band members John Fittis (Pipe Major), Matthew Shaw (Drum Sergeant), Oliver McIlwaine, Zach McCauley and Evie McKeown. INNT 13-504CON Pic by John Kelly

After the formal part of the evening, parents, friends and guests enjoyed listening to the band play a great selection of music including hymns ‘Jesus lover of my soul’ and ‘As the deer pants for the water’.

The Ballyclare band has had a resurgence in recent years and is moving from strength to strength with support from the local community.

“Our band is a non-profit organisation that works tirelessly to make traditional music central to our local community,” a spokesperson explained. “Throughout the year we take part in church parades, concerts, tattoos and many other private functions. We teach music to anyone, young or old, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings in the Torrens Hall. We are pleased to touch so many lives in our area.

“The cost of equipment, uniforms and transport are substantial and we rely on support from organisations and individuals to cover our costs. Our members dedicate enormous amounts of their personal time and income to keep the band moving forward, but operational expenses run well over £1,000 per year. Most of these expenses are absorbed by the individual members and no one in the band receives payment.”

Sponsorship opportunities through The Sinclair Funders start from just £50.

“If you wish to sponsor a drum, you will have a plaque with your name on the drum so you can follow the drum and the player throughout the season. Regular updates will be released on the Facebook page and via the post. Sinclair Funders will be recognised on the band’s Facebook page, in concert programmes and in media releases. Company logos for major sponsors can be displayed on the band’s bass drums and or on t-shirts,” the spokesperson added.

Anyone who would like to support The Sinclair Funders initiative should call Kim Harris on 028 9443 2412 for more information.