Representatives of 207 charities received a share of the £192,000 raised by the Christmas 2012 Black Santa Sit–Out when they attended St Anne’s Cathedral on February 3.
Special Guests at the annual Good Samaritans’ Service at which the proceeds of the sit–out are traditionally distributed were the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson, and Lady Mayoress Lindsay Robinson.
Guests were welcomed by Black Santa himself, the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, who said it was a very happy occasion. “It is not every day we get to give away £192,000,” he added.
The Dean said that he had visited a number of projects which had benefited from funds raised during the Christmas 2011 Sit–out, including Christian Aid projects in India, seeing at first hand the great work that is being done by charities.
“Today the spotlight turns from the giver of funds to those who put the money raised to good effect,” the Dean said.
Addressing the recipients, he expressed his thanks and said: “Each of you is part of an organisation that may touch thousands of lives in our community.”
The Lady Mayoress presented cheques to the groups working with children and youth, family related charities, international groups and those working with medical research.
Lord Mayor Robinson presented cheques to the large number of groups serving the community. He said it was a pleasure and privilege for him and his wife to be at the Service, not only to recognise the contribution that the charities make in society and in the community, but to pay a personal tribute to the Dean.
“I pay tribute to Dean Mann for not only braving the winter weather but for continuing an annual tradition that is an eagerly anticipated and respected fundraising activity,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The contributions represent a willingness to support the work you all do, even in December and even when the city is full of stories of negativity,” he said.
Music at the service was provided by the Cathedral Choir.
Photographs of all presentations will be available on this website from Wednesday February 13.