Jan 4 2012 by Judith Tonner, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Kids Christmas Party
A COATBRIDGE man led an impressive fundraising effort to ensure that a special Christmas party went with an extra swing.
John McCormick and his railway colleagues donated more than £1200 of toys to the annual event run by their colleague Les Hoey for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Summerlee man John was inspired to support the good cause in honour of his daughter Claire, who sadly died from cancer aged just 16 in November 2005.
He collected hundreds of pounds by placing collection bottles at his workplace at the Network Rail signalling centre in Motherwell.
The total was also boosted by the efforts of colleagues David Devlin and David Hunter, who were sponsored to climb Ben Nevis.
John said: “We’ve had a collection at work for a few years; in 2010 we just donated a cheque to Les’ charity fund but this year decided to use the money to buy toys instead.
“My wife Lynn and I went shopping to buy most of them and lots of people also brought extra things into the signalling centre – so many lovely things were donated and everyone was happy to contribute.
“We’re intending to do the same thing again every year now for the party; it’s nice to do something in Claire’s memory at this time of year.”
John and Lynn attended the event, held at Fir Park in Motherwell, with children Christopher (12) and Aimee (five) to see their donations put to good use as party-game prizes for the hundreds of youngsters attending.
Coatbridge’s world champion boxer Ricky Burns was among dozens of celebrity guests, along with players from Motherwell, Celtic, Rangers, St Mirren and Dunfermline, Scottish actress Kathleen McDermott and members of the River City cast.
Les said: “John and his colleagues did really well with their collection and before they knew it had nearly £1000.
“This year’s party was the biggest yet and we’re very grateful to John for his fundraising; it’s greatly appreciated and helped make it even more fantastic and completely memorable for the kids.”