AN ARMY of volunteers are needed every year to run the annual Milford Hospice Harvest Fair, yet there are always enough, such is the impact the care centre has on the lives of people in Limerick and the wider Mid-West region.
The 27th staging of the fair will take place this September 2, again on the grounds of the Unigolf complex in Castletroy, just a stone’s throw from the ever expanding centre.
Milford CEO declared the Harvest Fair to be the “largest single voluntary fundraising event in our fundraising calendar”.
“From Milford’s perspective it is our biggest fundraising event. It allows people to have a fun day out and at the same time to support Milford’s services,” he explained at the launch, which saw 27 helium filled balloons released into the atmosphere to mark the staging of the fair.
“We see our services as being patient centred and we very much appreciate the support. As a service provider our goal is to continue to provide high quality services to people across the region. If we can get the support, our commitment is to maintain the services. This is a great opportunity for people to come and support us and hopefully we will be able to provide them with a great day out,” he added.
Organising committee member Sexton Cahill said that the fair - which traditionally boasts a wide variety of stalls and family orientated events such as a dog show, face painting, a funfair and pets corner, as well as Munster’s largest vintage car rally - was a “day out for people to enjoy”.
“It is a day out for people to enjoy, a day out for people to get some appreciation of what Milford does, particularly concerning the area we are fundraising for and targeting specifically, the Hospice at Home service,” he explained.
“We are targeting kids, families and teenagers, because we think it is important that we get young people, we don’t want to be seen as just for older people, it is an opportunity for youngsters to come and enjoy themselves. It is very much built on a family ethos,” he added.
The fair requires in the region of 250 volunteers to run and all are welcome, as are donations of goods, which can be left at Milford from August 20. But organisers are unapologetic about what is really needed.
“Fundraising, no question, we are not apologising, we are here to fundraise, that is part of what we do on the day, but equally we want people to enjoy it, we want to say thanks to the people of Limerick and others who support us throughout the year, that they come and enjoy their day out,” added Mr Cahill.