Rathcoole couple's bright fundraising idea aids cancer charity

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RATHCOOLE couple Jim and Lorraine Craig once again entered into the true spirit of Christmas by turning their house into a winter wonderland of festive lights in a bid to raise funds for one of Northern Ireland's leading cancer charities.

For the third year in a row, Jim and Lorraine have covered their Drumcree Place home in seasonal decorations and bright illuminations, and they're inviting people to come along, check out the fantastic festive display and make a small donation to Macmillan Cancer.

"We went for a winter scene this year with polar bears and penguins, and we certainly got the weather to go with it," Lorraine told the Times. "I'm not sure exactly how many lights we've got up, but it must be thousands."

Jim and Lorraine took the decision to raise money for the charity a few years ago after two family members who had cancer were looked after by Macmillan nurses.

"This is our third year doing this. The first year we raised 1,690 and last year we collected 1,580. We're hoping to raise a similar total this year, but there have been fewer people coming down to see the house this year due to the bad weather, and I can't say I blame them," Lorraine explained.

The couple expressed their thanks to building contractor DJ Allen and the many family friends who gave up their time to help erect the lights earlier this month. And they also expressed their gratitude to everyone who has braved the winter weather and supported the fundraiser so far.

Lorraine, who works in Hazelwood Integrated College, said that already they have received donations totalling around 500, but they're hoping that more people will come along and enjoy the festive lights and give a serious cash boost to their fundraising effort.

While the big-hearted couple can expect to be hit with a substantial electricity bill in the New Year, Lorraine says that as this is their third annual festive fundraiser, it won't come as a shock.

"It doesn't matter about the electricity bill, we're well prepared for that. We just want to raise as much money as we can for the charity," she added.

• Check out Jim and Lorraine's winter wonderland at 15 Drumcree Place, Rathcoole, just off the O'Neill Road.