THE founder of a local charity has described his inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List a ‘humbling’ experience.
Former Larne man Jack Rodgers, founder and chairman of the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust, has been awarded an MBE for his services to young people and to charity over a period of 40 years.
“I am delighted and humbled to receive this prestigious award,” said Jack, who now lives in Carrick. “It has been a great pleasure for me over the years that I have been in a position to be able to help others, especially many of the sick children from all over the Province.”
Jack, who was born and grew up in Larne, spent most of his working life in the entertainment and hospitality industry.
He was president of the Showbiz Club Belfast for over 30 years, a position he still holds and which has been responsible for generating over £1 million for various local charities.
In 2008, with the aid of his wife and a few well-placed friends, Jack established the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust to take terminally ill and life-limited children on a day trip to Lapland at Christmas time to visit Santa.
In the charity’s first year, Jack took his first private plane full of children solely from Northern Ireland to Lapland. Further trips ensued in 2009, 2010 and 2011 resulting in a total of almost 1,000 children experiencing their dreams come true along with parents, doctors and nurses.