Aether and Echo in Belfast city centre raising funds for kids charity
BY CIARAN MCELHINNEY
A BELFAST bar is bringing is bringing a giant bubble ball tournament back to the city in aid of charity.
Brian McGeown and Anthony Farrell, owners of Aether & Echo in the city centre are hoping to raise vital funds for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.
The company will transform Custom House Square in the Cathedral Quarter into a fully grassed five aside football pitch to hold their second annual Bubble Ball Outdoor Tournament.
Money raised from the event will go to provide life saving operations for babies, children and young people with heart disease in Northern Ireland.
And one of those children is Aether & Echo bar manager Patrick Farrell’s son Harry and owner Anthony’s nephew..
Brian explained: “Sometimes when a friend becomes ill and especially a child, we feel helpless, which has been the case with Patrick, our bar manager.
“His beautiful, engaging son Harry, has become an inspiration to both Anthony and I. In his short life he has had to endure more physical pain than any child or indeed adult ever should, yet he goes about it in a manner that is so 'matter of fact' it's incredible, and still remains spirited and so loving.
“The charity fundamentally is there to offer emotional support to the parents in a caring environment for the kids, but unfortunately they struggle so much for funding.
“This event hopefully will raise the profile of the charity, and at the same time raise some vital cash directly for them, to have the official World Cup sponsors Budweiser on board as sponsors, is amazing for us, and also a big thanks must go out to the Colin Glen Trust, on Blacks Road who provided the bubble balls"
The tournament will be made up of 32 teams from across the Belfast Bar community.
Brian added: “Imagine playing football, but with your upper body incased within a giant air filled bubble, fighting for possession and bouncing into your opponent.”
Sarah Quinlan from Children's Heartbeat Trust said they were delighted to be involved in the fundraiser.
“This support will help us continue to provide emotional and practical support to families affected by congenital heart disease.
“Bubble Ball looks to be tremendous fun and we would encourage everyone to come down on the day to support the charity and join in the excitement.”
Brian is hoping the teams can raise much-needed cash as well as raise awareness for what he describes as “a very serious issue and an amazing charity”.
Bubble Ball Outdoor Tournament will take place today (SUNDAY) at Custom House Square, families are invited to attend for free to watch and enjoy bouncy castles, face painting, food stalls and an onsite bar.