Gretta’s community award goes to Santa!

Gretta Young with her Community Achiever Award. INPT46-016
Gretta Young with her Community Achiever Award. INPT46-016

Loughgall woman Gretta Young has already found a good use for the £100 prize money she received in the recent Best Kept Awards competition.

The deputy president of Loughgall and District Improvement Association has donated it to Santa’s grotto, which the group is running in the village for the first time.

A further £100 competition prize went to the committee, and is also being used for the Christmas project.

Gretta is modest about winning the Community Achiever Award, insisting she is just one member of a hard-working committee. She was nominated by Jonathan Ellis, from ABC Council, who said she had “worked for many years for the benefit of the local community within the village”.

The group ensures the village is kept looking pristine but says that everyone - even the oldest residents - play their part by keeping their gardens tidy.

Santa’s grotto is the group’s latest project. It will be located at one of the gate lodges at the entrance to Loughgall Country Park, and preparations are well under way for its opening on December 4.

Proceeds will be shared between the community group and Rachel’s Place/Amy’s Creche Charity Shop in Tandragee.

Gretta was one of the villagers responsible for first bringing Santa to the Christmas lights switch-on 25 years ago.

Santa will take up residence in the gate lodge from December 4 to S December 19, on weekdays from 5.15pm to 8pm and 11.00am to 6.30pm on Saturdays. Tickets, at £5 per child, are available in Loughgall Village Store and Rachel’s Place, Tandragee.

Local children will also be helping out as elves. Among them is Molly Hutchinson (9), a member of Loughgall Girls’ Friendly Society, who won the all-Ireland competition for answering questions on the Bible.