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Irish Rotary members raise €64,000 for local charities

Irish Rotary members raise €64,000 for local charities

Christmas may now seem a long way off, but Rotary clubs are now realising the rewards of their efforts over the festive season.

In Ireland, Cork Rotarians have managed to raise €64,000 for local charities from their Tree of Remembrance. And they have also innovated some neat technology to cope with the pandemic

For many year, the people of Cork have taken the Rotary Tree of Remembrance to their hearts each Christmas and responded with great warmth and generosity.

Cork and Bishopstown Rotary Clubs have been collecting for various charities at the Tree of Remembrance for each of the past 17 years.

A giant Christmas tree situated in Patrick Street is festooned with thousands of yellow ribbons, each with a handwritten personal message in memory of loved ones who may have passed on, or were away from home this Christmas.

This is a flagship Rotary project that has gone from strength to strength through the years.

Last year the contributions were in excess of €100k, with voluntary donations from those who have had messages attached to the tree, now in excess of €1million.

Due to the wonderfully generous response by the public, Cork and Bishopstown Rotary clubs have been able to channel all proceeds to a range of worthy local charities.

This Christmas with the inevitable restrictions caused by Covid 19, there was a major doubt about the viability of continuing with the event.

In Ireland, Cork Rotarians have managed to raise €64,000 for local charities from their Tree of Remembrance.”

This would have meant a big financial loss for this year’s chosen charities, Marymount Hospice, Down Syndrome Cork and Barnardos’ Children’s Services.

The decision was taken jointly by the Cork and Bishopstown Rotary clubs to continue to run the event despite the restricted circumstances.

Many changes and safety measures had to be put in place at short notice to allow for this major annual fundraiser to go ahead.

A new collection hut was designed, constructed and positioned in Patrick Street. This allowed for safe, socially distanced writing of thousands of messages on ribbons and the collection of thousands of donations.

A giant Christmas tree situated in Patrick Street is festooned with thousands of yellow ribbons, each with a handwritten personal message in memory of loved ones who may have passed on, or were away from home this Christmas.”

Rotarian Sean Houston said: “Now in its 17th year, the Tree of Remembrance has gone from strength to strength, with the exception of the most recent one, which allowing for the lock-down still made a very healthy sum for charity.

“This was partly due to some clever Rotarians who not only got on board with contactless payment, but also developed an app which they would hope to make available to any other clubs running fund-raisers.”

The Rotary Tree of Remembrance App proved to be a big hit.

This is a bold move which enables people who are away, or unable to visit the tree in person, to contribute from anywhere in the world.

It also allowed people to send their message electronically, which could then be raised on the tree.

“This was a substantial investment in the future of this project which can be shared with other Rotary Clubs worldwide,” added Sean.

“It shows that rather than resting on our laurels, Rotary in Cork is looking to maximise the fundraising potential of Rotary projects everywhere.”

There are four local clubs around Cork city. These are Cork, Bishopstown, Douglas and Glanmire. We are always looking for new members to join, so if you know a potential Rotarian living in the Cork region, please ask them to make contact. They will be very welcome.

Many clubs across Great Britain and Ireland staged limited fund-raising events during lockdown to continue their support of the local community.

And despite the restrictions, the amount of money raised has been outstanding.

Now in its 17th year, the Tree of Remembrance has gone from strength to strength, with the exception of the most recent one, which allowing for the lock-down still made a very healthy sum for charity.”

In Surrey, Banstead Rotary’s Christmas collection has been totalled up to fetch a superb £5,430.

 The money was raised thanks to donations towards their Christmas collections appeal. The club’s Santa sleigh also visited Waitrose for two static collections.

 David Martin, Christmas Collection Chairman, said: “We would like to thank everyone for their support to our Christmas collections. 

 “Whilst we were disappointed that Father Christmas wasn’t able to parade in his sleigh as normal, we were delighted with the response to our leaflet tour of the streets so that everyone could still support us.

 All proceeds have been donated to the Rotary club’s charity partners: Age Concern, Home Start, Dyscover, Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper, Diamond Riding School, Princess Alice Hospice, QEF and Crossroads Care.