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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Balloon released in memory of Bernard found in Scotland while funds raised for Marie Curie

SPAR Greystone donating their cheque to Marie Curie in Bernard’s memory. (Left to Right) Elaine Sheridan (Wife), Michael Sheridan (Son), Heather Miller (Marie Curie), Claire Sheridan (Daughter) and Diane Camlin (Assistant Manager)

When a bunch of yellow balloons were released in memory of SPAR Greystone butcher, Bernard Sheridan, nobody knew just how far they would travel and the mark his legacy would leave in one balloon’s final destination.

Just days after its release, one of Bernard’s balloons was found on the shores of Loch Katrine in the Trossachs of Central Scotland, some 150 miles away from the store, and the walkers who found the balloon reached out to the team to let them know what they had found.

In an email to the team, Roger Doubal wrote; “How especially nice to hear that the balloon we found in Stronachlachar… was sent off in commemoration of your colleague.”

Mr Doubal also let them know that its ribbon was used to splint a small Rowan tree sapling which had been damaged, which Diane Camlin at SPAR Greystone says is just so fitting for Bernard’s memory.

Diane said:

“We were so thrilled to get the email from Roger, his wife and friends who had found the balloon in Scotland. It is remarkable to think that Bernard is now known and remembered outside of our community, which is as it should be as he was a remarkable man.

“For his balloon’s ribbon to then be used to help along the sapling is wonderful as this is exactly something Bernard would’ve done himself, and it’s lovely to think his memory is helping sustain that growth. Bernard’s family gave friends and family seeds to sow and grow to think fondly of him, and I sowed mine at his parking space at the store.”

Now, a plaque has been fitted at the entrance of the store in memory of Bernard and the fantastic fundraising the store and his family have been doing in his memory since the summer.

Over £3,000 has been raised for the store charity partner, Marie Curie which also provided care for Bernard and his family in his final days.

Denise added:

“We held a fundraising day in Bernard’s honour and our staff took part in a 12-hour ‘walk-a-thon’ in store, all wearing yellow of course, and we had raffles and lucky dips for the kids. The whole community was so supportive, and we’ve raised £3,183 in total! We had aimed to raise £3,000 for Marie Curie in Bernard’s name, so to surpass that total is just wonderful.”

60 yellow balloons were released in Bernard’s memory, as he had just turned 60 the month before he passed away – sharing the milestone birthday with SPAR in Northern Ireland this year.

Denise added:

“Bernard would’ve been front and centre in our 60th celebrations with SPAR NI, he was such a vibrant and important part of our business and the shoppers just loved coming in and seeing him. He is so missed but his legacy will continue on with his memory plaque, our continued fundraising for Marie Curie and MND Awareness, and of course that little sapling on the shores of Loch Katrine in Scotland.”


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