STAFF from Ballyclare-based Dennison Commercials Ltd took to the streets of Belfast on Saturday, November 10 for a gruelling fundraiser in aid of the Oscar Knox Appeal.
Around 50 employees from the Hillhead Road Volvo truck and bus dealership took part in the truck pull event, hauling a 15 tonne tractor unit and trailer half a mile along Royal Avenue and Donegall Place.
The truck pull fundraiser - an idea put forward by Ballyclare Vehicle Technician Neil Arbuthnot - was cheered by crowds of shoppers in the city centre, and Ulster rugby player Adam D’Arcy and local comedian May McFettridge both made appearances at the event to show their support.
Four-year-old Oscar Knox is currently fighting neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, and has been at the centre of a social media sensation that has propelled him, his family and his struggle with the condition into the spotlight.
Oscar’s grandfather, Brian Knox, has worked for Dennison Commercials for just short of 40 years, so when Dennisons staff heard of Oscar’s Appeal to raise money for specialist treatment, they put their heads together to come up with fundraising ideas in a bid to secure a whopping £25,000 for the appeal.
John Jenkins, Managing Director of Dennisons commented: “We knew that we wanted to support Brian and his family in their time of need. Their struggle with this awful disease is unimaginable for those of us within Dennisons that have children and grandchildren of our own, and the only way we knew we could make a difference was to help raise funds for Oscar’s treatment. Personally, I was also motivated to get involved out of gratitude to Brian, for being, not only one of the longest serving members of the Dennisons team, but also for being so dedicated even throughout Oscar’s diagnosis and treatment.”
Sadly heart and lung problems meant Oscar was unable to undergo a planned six-month programme of immunotherapy treatment in the USA, but fundraising is continuing to help pay the medical bills run up during the three weeks he spent in hospital in Philadelphia, and any future specialist treatment he may require.
The brave Glengormley boy is now back home in Northern Ireland and has been receiving further treatment at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
Laura Dougan, Marketing Manager for Dennisons, who was heavily involved in organising Saturday’s event commented: “The support for Oscar has been fantastic and his popularity has certainly made all aspects of organising this event a lot easier. The generosity and enthusiasm shown by our customers, suppliers and, of course, our staff for this event has been overwhelming.”
Donations to the Dennisons fundraiser can be made online at www.justgiving.com/DennisonsForOscar, or by texting DENN50 and the amount (£3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070. All money raised will go directly to the Neuroblastoma Alliance UK Oscar Knox Appeal.
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