The family of little Oliver-James McCrea are inviting everyone to come along and support a Tractor Run in his memory, and to hear the great work which is being done in Kenya thanks in part to the kindness of the wider Mid-Ulster community.
Oliver-James, died unexpectedly in 2011 aged just three and a half, and since his death, his parents Andrew and Laura-Jayne McCrea, from Stewartstown have been supporting charity, Friends of Africa Missionary Endeavour (FAME) who have been operating in Kenya since 1997.
Cookstown man and family friend of the McCrea’s, Rodney Davidson and his family have been living and working in Kenya on behalf of the charity for over 4 and a half years now.
This year, Rodney and his wife Alma and their 4 children, have travelled home and during the weekend of events, Rodney will speak about the great work which is being funded in Kenya thanks in part to the generosity of the people of Mid-Ulster.
Andrew told the MAIL the family saw a great opportunity to tell the people of Mid-Ulster what the money they have donated is doing to help a very poor community in Kenya.
He said: “We said last year we weren’t going to do it again or make it an annual thing, but we thought with Rodney and Alma and their children home this year, how could we not, even for them to see their own community coming out in support of the work they are doing out there.
“It was a great opportunity for Rodney to speak at the event and because we had so much people support it last year, many of those who didn’t even know Rodney. So for people to see and hear, the centre out in Kenya and what is taking place.”
Speaking to the MAIL ahead of the events, Rodney said: “We are seeking to try and help the people out there and I am delighted to have been asked by Andrew to speak at this year’s tractor run because the money they raised last year made an awful lot of good in the orphanage which we are running out there. It will be nice to go and thank the people here for what they have done and give them some indication of where the money is going.”
The Kenyan authorities have requested FAME to open a unit for abandoned infants until adoptive parents are found,
Many of the infants are newborns whose destitute mothers have either died in childbirth or have cast their baby into a pit latrine. Child abandonment has become an acute problem in the Mwingi district and that is where money donated will be used to help fund this project and continue the work to help orphaned children.
The events in memory of Oliver-James will begin on Friday night August 22, with a ‘Social by Eternity’, which starts at 10pm organised by David George and Stephen Crawford and everyone is welcome to come along.
On Saturday, the field will be open from 1pm for family fun events, including a Dyno machine where farmers can hook up their tractors and find out the horse power of their tractors.
The famous ‘Grassmen’ will also be in attendance, and there will be an opportunity to buy some of their merchandise and DVDs etc and view some of their best tractors.
Tea, coffee and traybakes will be on offer in the marquees on Saturday for those who wish to have some light refreshments.
A number of machinery manufacturers will also be there on the day exhibiting some of their work as well as bouncy castles to keep the kids entertained.
The Tractor Run will start of from McCrea’s farm (192 Coagh Road, Stewartstown, BT71 5LW) at 5pm, spectators will need to be in Cookstown centre for 6.15pm to see the tractors come throught the town at 6.30pm.
Each tractor participating in the run will receive a goody bag and medal for their efforts.
A BBQ, and hog roast will follow the Tractor Run, catered by Jean Maguire and Rodney Davidson will address the crowds telling about the work ongoing in Kenya with the orphanage and child rescue centre.
To finish off the weekend there will on Sunday 24th, there will be a Praise Meeting at 8.45pm hosted by Keith Shields with various singers and young musicians who have been in Kenya working on the projects.
Andrew told the MAIL: “It is a freewill donation for anyone who wants to come to any of the events this year, we just want people to come and hear Rodney and if they feel led to support him then that would be the best outcome. It also gives people an opportunity to know where the money went last year.”