posted on June 17th, 2024

MND Heroes and Lady Mary’s Trust Raise the Bar with Joint Fundraiser

The Motor Neurone Disease Association NI and Lady Mary Peters Trust are set to host a spectacular Gala Dinner, drawing inspiration from former British indoor high-jumper Debbie Marrs and World Police and Fire Games volunteer Raymond Hill. This charitable event, designed to raise essential funds for both organisations, will take place on Thursday, October 17, 2024, at the elegant Magheramorne Estate near Larne.

Debbie Marrs, Lady Mary Peters and Raymond Hill. Back row: Jane Allen from Magheramorne Estate with her daughter Sara – Head of Guest Experience.

Debbie Marrs, a former Mary Peters Trust athlete and the 1988 British Indoor High Jump Champion, was diagnosed with MDN in recent years. Last December, she raised £8,500 through an indoor triathlon event at Holywood’s Bannatyne Health Club. Excited about the upcoming Gala, Debbie said, “This event will significantly raise the profile of motor neurone disease in Northern Ireland and support people like myself and our families. My daughter Megan and I have benefited from Mary Peters Trust funding and I’m thrilled that the funds raised will be equally divided between those wonderful charities.”

Raymond Hill, a Larne local with a lifelong involvement in sports, was diagnosed with MND in May 2021. He has played a crucial role in organising the World Police and Fire Games and now serves as a committee member for the NI branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Raymond emphasised the importance of raising MDN awareness, stating “Our Magheramorne Estate event will support critical research and provide necessary assistance to those affected by MDN.”

Debbie Marrs, Raymond Hill and Lady Mary Peters.

The Gala Dinner will feature a reception, dinner, auction, guest speakers, and musical performances. Funds raised for MND will support specialist nurses, research bursaries, and various NI programs, including regional roadshows and support events for those impacted by MND. Similarly, funds for the Mary Peters Trust will aid young athletes in Northern Ireland, helping them access top facilities and coaching.

Lady Mary Peters expressed her enthusiasm for the event saying, “There is a natural synergy between our two charities, and I’m pleased that we’re coming together for this standout gala in the beautiful Magheramorne Estate. Raymond and Debbie are true inspirations, and we are grateful to Jane Allen and her team for their support.”

Tickets for the Gala Dinner are priced at £65 each or £600 for a table of ten. To book, contact Gillian Hetherington at

Jane Allen with her daughter Sara at Magheramorne Estate.

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