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Ellie’s charity Red Tie Ball takes flight

A Garvagh girl and her family were the driving force behind a gala dinner in aid of Air Ambulance Northern Ireland.

Ellie Smyth, 11, from Garvagh, alongside mum Caroline and brother Harry, 13, organised Ellie’s Red Tie Ball at the Royal Court in Portrush in aid of the charity.

The event raised over £12,000 for the charity, and was in held in memory of Ellie’s father, Peter Smyth, who died three years ago.

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Taking place during what would have been Peter’s 50th birthday year, 170 guests joined the Smyth family at the event, contributing to the overall fundraising sum.

Pictured at Ellie’s Red Tie Ball are Caroline Smyth, Harry Smyth, Richard McFetridge from Wilson’s Auctions, Ellie Smyth and Kerry Anderson, Air Ambulance NI. Picture: North Coast Photographer

Since Peter’s passing back in 2019, the Smyth family committed to raising funds for Air Ambulance NI, and have raised a collective £20,000 over the past three years.

Ellie’s Red Tie Ball was supported by local businesses, who pledged prizes to the charity auction, which was overseen by the experts at Wilson’s Auctions. Peter’s brother, Alaistair Smyth, was MC and the Goodfellas band played at the event.

Reflecting on the evening, Caroline Smyth added: “It’s thanks to the incredible support of our family, friends and local businesses that we have been able to raise over £12,000 at Ellie’s Red Tie Ball.

“Both Ellie and Harry are delighted to further donate to Air Ambulance who have helped us so much as a family over the past three years and we would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the evening.”

Caroline, Harry and Ellie are ambassadors for Air Ambulance NI and continue to volunteer at local events and fundraisers.

In 2019, Harry raised £14,000 via ‘Harry’s Run’ – a 12km charity run for Air Ambulance - and Harry was subsquently nominated for an Outstanding Young Person’s Award.

Sister, Ellie, has just been recognised at the Local Women Awards, being shortlisted as Inspirational Young Person.

For further information on Air Ambulance NI, see www.airambulanceni.orgRead more: Locals in Birthday Honours List