SIX-year-old Jordan Perez arrived with a smile on his face and it never left as he posed for pictures.
The Sixmilebridge lad, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, grinned from ear to ear as he launched Share A Dream’s new campaign, #smilefordreams.
The Limerick charity need more than €2m in funds or in kind sponsorship to build Dreamland, a huge, all inclusive indoor play centre for children, which is to be built in Castletroy.
Jordan was chosen to front the campaign - which requires social media users to take a selfie and upload it, while texting SHARE to 50300 and donating €2 in the process - because of his terrific smile.
“Jordan usually gets called out for the photos, he is just a happy kid, he has a great smile, he really has,” said mum Sinead at the launch in City Hall this Tuesday.
“Dreamland is a fabulous idea. Being a parent of a child with that disability, you are very limited as to where you can and can’t go - and then if you go to a place where normal kids go, he just sits there watching them and it is really hard on him,” she explained.
“I was explaining to Jordan what the campaign was about and he wants to go now! If you see the smile that you can put on a child’s face like Jordan’s, it is worth it. It really is. It is just that they can feel some form of normality.
“People need to get behind it and support it, they really do,” she added.
The Limerick-based foundation has completed the purchase and lodged planning for Dreamland, a purpose built play centre for sick and disabled children, based at Park Point on the Dublin Road.
Share A Dream founder Shay Kinsella said that money was the only thing stopping it from it being built immediately.
“We have everything ready to go for Dreamland,” he said.
“The costing was very hard to get, and it is gone more expensive than we thought, so we have to do a national fundraising campaign to try and get the money in.”
Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Michael Sheahan, said he was backing the campaign, which also has the support of Limerick’s third level institutions and eight secondary schools in the region.
“I am backing the charity. This is a home grown product, that will be based in Limerick and that will be a fantastic achievement for Limerick to have it,” he said.
“It is a very important one and must not be forgotten. Limerick people are great to rally to a cause, whether sporting or cultural or otherwise, and I think Limerick people won’t be found wanting in this case.”
To support, take a selfie, text Share to 50300 to donate €2 and then post your selfie to social media, with the hashtag #smilefordreams. See www.shareadream.ie for more.