LIMERICK businessman Dan Gallahue, whose late father John was a widely respected former cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, has urged the people of Limerick to support the Milford Fair Hospice Fund Day this Sunday.
John Gallahue passed away in May 2011 and over a number of weeks he received specialist palliative care in his Anglesboro home from Milford’s Limerick Hospice at Home Team.
“The Hospice at Home team was fantastic. They came in and did their work and everyone in the house was treated with the same respect. They involved everybody when we were at home. The care that they give to people should be commended and should be supported as much as people can,” Dan said.
“Dad thought a lot of the work of Milford Hospice and held the Care Centre in very high regard. He was very conscious of what Milford does in the community and after he passed away in 2011 we formed a group that has been successful in raising a lot of funds for hospice centres,” he added.
Garage owner Dan chairs the Drive to Survive charity and with a large team of volunteers raised in excess of €140,000 in 2013.
The funds collected during a week-long fundraising trip throughout the 26 counties in two Ford Model T pick-up trucks – one of which was bought by John Gallahue in the US – and through standalone events through the year.
The money collected within each area was allocated to the local hospice, and thanks to the support of Limerick people Milford received €43,000 from the charity.
Dan is now urging families in Limerick to take steps to support Milford’s biggest annual fundraising event by taking part in the inaugural 5km Fun Walk and by visiting the Fair at the UL Arena which takes place following the walk.
“People can literally take a step to help fund Milford’s services and to build a new hospice for the Mid-West region by taking part in the sponsored 5km Fun Walk being held around the UL campus that kicks off the day’s events at 12.30 pm,” he said.
You can pre-register for the walk at www.eventmaster.ie (registration fee is €10 for adults and children are free) or register on the day at the Sprint Track in the University Arena from 11.30am.
Admission is free to the packed indoor and outdoor programme of events, entertainments and attractions for all ages planned for the 30th anniversary Milford Fair Hospice Fund-Day, including vintage cars, a barbecue, live music, pig on a spit, quick fire bingo, the Wheel of Fortune, face painting, a food court and a Grand Raffle, with a top prize of an All-for-One voucher worth €1,000.
The Fair also features a display of model aircraft - from fighter planes to space shuttle models, from cargo and sailing ships to railway locomotives - staged by the Mid-West Branch of the International Plastic Modellers’ Society Ireland, and the new Exploration Dome, a mobile digital planetarium and science education experience.
As usual there will also be great value cake, bottle and plant stalls at the Hospice Fund Day, which is Milford’s biggest annual fundraiser.
With such a packed programme Milford are looking for volunteers to help out on the day.
“The Fair is going to be even bigger this year and we would welcome more help around the UL Arena,” said fundraising supervisor Anne Marie Hayes.
“If anyone would like to get involved, please call me at our fundraising office on 061-485 860 or 485859, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you,” she added.
All the money raised from Sunday’s event will go towards the €1.5m needed each year to fund the shortfall in funding for the specialist consultant-led palliative care services which are provided to patients and families for free throughout Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.
In addition, Sunday’s proceeds will also help to fund a new 34-bed specialist in-patient palliative care Hospice to be built by Milford at Castletroy to serve the entire Mid-West region, costing €7.8m.
Milford CEO Pat Quinlan told the Limerick Leader recently that the new palliative facility would “make sure that the facilities are such that they can respond to a whole range of needs into the future, which we haven’t been able to do in the past.
“We have set ourselves a fundraising target of €500,000 each year for the next four years, but that is on top of the €1.5m we need to fundraise anyway,” he explained.
“So it means, over the next four years, Milford Hospice has to raise €2m each year,” he said.
There will be plenty of free parking at UL on Sunday and a big turnout is expected to support this fundraiser for vital palliative care services in the Mid-West Region.