Newry united in grief: £42,000 raised in Kevin Bell fundraiser
£42,000 and counting. That’s how much has been raised so far tonight at the Canal Court Quiz in memory of Kevin Bell.
The local community came out in force this evening in solidarity with the friends and family of the Newry man Kevin Bell, who tragically lost his life in New York over the weekend.
Young and old alike crammed into the Canal Court Hotel tonight to take part in a quiz and raffles aimed at raising money for the repatriation of Kevin and to help with his funeral arrangements.
In one of the auctions, Down GAA star Kevin McKernan’s signed jersey was auctioned for a staggering £1000.
In an emotional statement, Kevin’s father Collie Bell said they were humbled by the unbelievable support from the local community.
Collie said, “We, the Bell family, are humbled by the kindness and generosity of people. We are so grateful to all those who are organising events and fundraisers to support us in this terrible time.
“We would like it to be known that we intend to continue to fundraise in future, in Kevin’s name, and that all surplus money will be used to help families who are visited by similar tragedies; we know that Kevin will not be the last. God bless you all.”
Speaking to Newry Times just minutes ago, Grace O’Reilly, one of Kevin’s friends who helped organise tonight’s quiz, described the night as ‘overwhelming’ and said the huge turnout was a testament to Kevin’s widespread popularity.
Grace explained, “The out-pour of support has been overwhelming. No one could have predicted the crowd for tonight’s quiz. There were more people in the Canal Court tonight, a Tuesday night, than you would see in the Miller’s Suite on a Saturday night.
“This is a true testament to the many lives he touched in his short time here. He would have been in his element sitting amongst them, he would have loved it.”
SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley commended the organisers of tonight’s quiz. “I am delighted at the response to Kevin’s fundraising quiz.Well done to Damien Ruddy, Patricia Heaney, Aidan O’ Rourke and all concerned in organising this tremendous event.
“I called with the Bell family on the way home from the fundraiser and they were taken aback with the response of the local community.Well done to all involved and to the people of Newry and district.”
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