Willie's delight as Wee Joan's Dog Walk fundraising total deserves a 'round of a-paws'
and live on Freeview channel 276
The charity dog walk was organised by Portrush barman Willie Gregg in honour of his late mother Joan.
Having raised ten of thousands of pounds for various charities including his own Willie’s Orphan Fund, the host-with-the-most ‘pawsed’ pulling pints to stage what he hoped would be the biggest gathering of man’s best friend that Northern Ireland had ever seen.
Willie’s late mother Joan was the inspiration for the walk, telling her son that, as well as supporting charities all over the world, he should organise something closer to home.
Wee Joan’s Dog Walk ‘doggie dander’ started off from the Harbour in Portrush and made its way to the Blackrocks and back via the West Strand Promenade, raising funds for ten different local groups. There were numerous prizes on the day including Best Dressed Leopard Print Dog and Owner – a very specific category inspired by ‘Wee Joan’ who loved her leopard print style.
All money raised on the day has now been shared out between the following ten charities/groups: Willie’s Orphan Fund (local project Coleraine); NI Children to Lapland and Days to Remember; Portrush Football Club Youths U12 Girls; Marathon Man Paul Esler (Marie Curie Ballymoney); Women’s Aid (Coleraine); The Hummingbird Project (Portstewart); Angel of Hope Memorial Garden (Coleraine), Victoria Lagan Dance and Drama (Portrush); Marathon Ironman Andy Farrer (Suicide Awareness); TK Surf Portrush for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast.
Willie said: “Despite the awful weather on the day, the impact of Wee Joan’s Dog Walk has been amazing.
"All of the charities have now received their donations and I’m delighted that instead of raising enough to send one sick child to meet Santa in Lapland, we have raised enough to send THREE kids to meet him this Christmas.
"Thank you so much to everyone who took part in the walk, dressed up, donated prizes, business who donated vouchers or bought raffle tickets. I am absolutely over the moon.”
Willie also thanked event sponsors Lamont Trailers, Ramore Complex, Oliver Group, Zing Printing, Harbour Bar, Mondo NI, Morelli Design, Jollyes Coleraine and the Portrush Yacht Club team.