Family say thanks to RNIB for baby Harley’s support

Harley with his big sister Summer and big brother Levi with the signed glove donated by local boxer Conrad Cummings
Harley with his big sister Summer and big brother Levi with the signed glove donated by local boxer Conrad Cummings

There were cheers (and a few screams) from the crowd that gathered at Davisons Bar in Castlecaulfield to watch 12 men get ‘waxed in the dark’ for RNIB NI.

Zoe Stinson, from Moygashel, wanted to raise funds for RNIB NI after receiving an abundance of support and advice from RNIB’s Children’s, Young People and Families team following her two-year-old son Harley’s sight loss diagnosis.

Putting the fun into fundraiser, dedicated and innovative mum Zoe, 27, and friend Jamielea Tate came up with the unique idea of putting a fresh spin on a popular RNIB fundraising concept called Dine in the Dark. A dozen willing men signed up – all for a good cause. And did the men enjoy the wax? Zoe laughed: “There was a few squeals to say the least.”

As well as the wax itself, the night offered music and a host of fun games and was a huge success and a host of raffle prizes were donated by local business and personalities, including boxer Conrad Cummings. Zoe and Jamielea raised £1895.24. Zoe said: “My target was £1,000 so I’m over the moon to reach almost double that and with Gift Aid it would be more than double my target.”

Zoe’s other two children Summer,(7) and Levi (4), also held non-uniform days at their schools - Windmill Integrated Primary School and Nursery Unit raising £169.98.

Little Harley was diagnosed with bilateral coloboma of his iris retina and optic discs and a scarring of the maculas and the condition means he will be visually impaired for the rest of his life.

Zoe added: “I just want to thank my best friend for co-hosting with me, thank all the men who raised money and got waxed in the dark including Harley’s dad and granda; the girls Ashton and Kelly for waxing for our entertainment; Davison’s bar for letting us hold the event and their DJ was brilliant - everyone said he was so good and joined in! I want to thank all businesses who donated; my friend Aimee and her partner Carl who helped hand out the prizes allowing myself and Jamielea to keep the raffle going without a hitch and all my family and friends for supporting me through this journey. Bring on next year!”

A spokesperson for RNIB NI said: “We are extremely grateful to Zoe and everyone involved for raising such a phenomenal amount on behalf of RNIB NI. It’s through local support like this, that we can continue to provide much needed services and support to people living with sight loss across Northern Ireland.

“If you would like to support RNIB NI’s work, don’t hesitate to contact: hazel.stirling@rnib.org.uk (07879 435 231) for ideas.”