East Antrim has been asked to ‘Give as they Gave’ at the Carrick launch of this year’s RAF Wings Appeal by Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Dickson said: “I was pleased and delighted to be able to launch the 2019 Wings Appeal and thrilled when the Carrickfergus branch collected a staggering £50,000 last year for the Appeal.
“It was of course the RAF100 celebrations last year, but knowing its Wings Appeal organiser, Wg. Cdr. Noel Williams, as I do, I expect he will be setting another target that will enable the association’s splendid welfare support to continue to grow.”
Wing Commander Williams, branch chairman and Wings Appeal organiser, stated: “In thanking Mr. Dickson for launching our 2019 campaign, I would particularly like to pay tribute to the generosity of the people of Carrickfergus, including Whitehead through to Glengormley, when it comes to their benevolent support for the military and ex-military servicemen and women.
“We will also be having stalls at our usual outlets from Tesco’s at Carrickfergus, the Carnmoney Road store in Glengormley and at the Abbeycentre. ASDA in north Belfast, Sainsbury’s in Carrick, the Milestone on Middle Road and the Topaz Petrol Station on the Upper Road in Greenisland as well the DeCourcy Centre.
“Obviously I am thankful to these and the many other smaller businesses who support us throughout the year. I would ask their customers to be as benevolent as they can over the next few weeks when we hope to ‘reach for the sky’ in terms of raising funds for our welfare activities.
Branch president, Maureen Irwin, added: “As most people will know from the ‘Help for Heroes’ campaign, there are also many modern-day heroes. Many of them are very much younger and were engaged in operations in the numerous conflicts which have taken place since 1945.
“The Korean and Falklands campaigns, two Gulf Wars and operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere have all taken their toll on servicemen and women, with many paying the ultimate price for their devotion to duty and their country”.
Branch welfare officer, Joe Corr said: “I would ask anyone who knows of an ex RAF serviceman or woman who might be in need of our help, even if not a RAFA or branch member, to contact me by calling 028 9032 5718. We are ready and willing to assist.”