Belfast Telegraph

Plucky four eye festive feast after Christmas charity fast

By Allan Preston

As most households in Northern Ireland tucked into lavish Christmas feasts yesterday, four strong-willed Portadown men swore off food entirely.

The 24-hour fast for charity started at midnight on Christmas Eve with the participants foregoing turkey with all the trimmings for only water.

Petrol station owner Don Woolsley marked his fifth successful Christmas fast in 25 years yesterday.

Joining him was son Gordon and Andrew McCreery (both from Oasis Youth) as well Paul Prentice from Portadown Elim Church.

"We'll definitely make up for it on Boxing Day," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I like to go and visit my grandchildren, but I make sure to see them before they put the dinner on."

All the money is to be split equally between Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support) NI and Helping Hands.

Andrew was inspired to join the fast after he and his wife Joanne lost their son Zach in 2012.

Don Woolsley has also lost both a daughter and granddaughter.

With a fundraising target of £5,000, the money raised will help fund memory boxes for Sands NI to distribute to hospitals all over the province to help families create memories of the short life of their child.

Helping Hands is a community outreach project run by Portadown Elim Pentecostal Church which supports local families. This Christmas, it will provide emergency home heating oil and hampers for local people.

You can contribute in person at Scotch Street Filling Station, Oasis Youth Centre or by going to the Facebook page, Sands and Helping Hands Fundraiser or at, searching for 24hrchristmasdayfast.

Belfast Telegraph

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