It was the best possible memorial to little Jake Flaherty, the two-year-old who passed away unexpectedly in May, yet inspired Portadown to raise a sum topping £3,500 on Saturday in his memory.
The venue was Portadown Masonic Hall in Thomas Street. And last week the Portadown Times “rather optimistically” suggested that Jake’s coffee morning could raise twice the amount of last year’s event - £1,700 when the young man himself was there.
We were wrong! The total after Saturday sat at £3,500 and counting. The money will go towards the Children’s Heartbeat Charity which helps children like Jake along the way.
Jake’s parents Wayne and Julie are delighted with Saturday’s effort, especially with the army of people who helped, with literally hundreds turning up.
In a heartfelt tribute of thanks, Julie writes on her Facebook: “The day was a complete success and surpassed all our expectations – Grandad Ted (Hunniford) is adding up. The support from everyone has been overwhelming – Heartbeat mammies and daddies from all over the province came down, the girls who helped us at home with respite, Jake’s nurses from Craigavon Area Hospital and the Royal... unbelievable.
“The committee at Thomas Street Masonic Hall were fantastic as were the ladies from Levaghery Women’s Institute who ran the kitchen, and good family friends who all pulled together to help nanny and granddad to whom we owe all of this.
“It was a day we’ll never forget. It has been of great comfort to us as we try to come to terms with the loss of our wonderful wee boy. The next stage is the fundraising effort supported by ASDA from now until October, after which we will hibernate until next year - we have the hall booked!”