District turns out to celebrate brave Elsa's birthday!

The local community has come out in force to celebrate little Elsa McBurney's eighth birthday at a huge party held at Banbridge Rugby Club on Sunday.

Elsa, Mum Lesley and Granny Pamela along with Green Light Transfers crew members Caolan Dooley, Gemma Woods, Thomas Meredith and Paula Chambers©Edward Byrne Photography INBL1811-22E1B

It has a been a difficult twelve months for the Abercorn Primary School pupil who was diagnosed with cancer of the spine shortly before her seventh birthday.

Since then she has undergone chemotherapy, surgery and travelled to America for proton beam therapy.

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Elsa’s family and friends wanted to ensure this birthday would be one to remember and weeks of planning have gone in to marking Elsa turning eight.

Despite far from perfect weather, the party was a great success. Mum Leslie said: “Elsa had a fantastic day from start to finish.

“We never expected the crowds we got in a million years❤ and from what I have heard so far everyone had a great day, which was our number one concern but we have also been able to raise some money for our charities and we are still going.

“I just want to take this opportunity to thank absolutely everyone who helped in anyway with the Big Bash on Sunday.

“From the organisers; Phil, Paula, Sarah, Nadia, Emma, Joanne and Cassie who worked tirelessly to pull out all the stops and succeeded. All the singers and dancers for entertaining us all day, the compere for keeping the whole show running smoothly.

“Everyone who took on a craft stall, all the businesses who came with food and activities, face painters etc.

“A very special thank you to Jolly Jumps, Newry who supplied us with so many inflatables, slush, candyfloss and popcorn absolutely free of charge so that all our profits go straight to charity! So kind and so much work involved in the setting up and taking away again - thanks again. Also to Neil McVeigh who did our photography.

“The fab guys from Greenlight Ambulance Transfers who gave up their day to ensure all our party goers were safe and provided the birthday girl with a much needed wheel chair and blanket for a rest. Thank you to the Fire brigade who brought us a fire engine.

“A massive thank you to John Woods and Banbridge Rugby Club for the fabulous venue and the Wee Cake Shop for the birthday cake- “its a poop”

“To every single person wearing a bib yesterday- thank you for giving us your time and keeping everything running smoothly.

“And Cheryl Gibbs for cupcakes and blend and batch for sandwiches for the volunteers.

“I’ve probably forgotten someone and if I have I am sorry but know that you were appreciated.

“Last but not least to every person who donated money, or raffle prizes, sent birthday cards and messages or who turned up on the day to celebrate with us - thank you all.”