TOP television presenter Miriam O’Callaghan and Munster rugby legend John ‘The Bull’ Hayes will be special guests at the fifth annual commemorative night in memory of Lough Gur teenager Cliona Ring.
In a scene reminiscent of her summertime Saturday Night show the popular host will be joined on a sofa at the fundraising event - which takes place at Bulgaden Castle on January 14 - by a family who have benefited from the Cliona Ring Foundation.
The foundation was formed in memory of 15-year-old Cliona who passed away in December 2006 after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in 1998.
“I wrote to Miriam at RTE – addressed it to her personally and she came back to me within a very short period – a couple of days. It was an idea that we had earlier in the year. She comes across very well and has a huge profile,” explained Cliona’s mum Terry.
The continued support shown to the charitable organisation can be attributed in part to its uniqueness - it is unique in that it focuses completely on non medical assistance for the entire family during a child’s treatment and recovery.
It provides financial assistance to families from Ireland who have children undergoing long-term medical treatment for serious illness.
Donations are made to families for “hidden” costs, including hotels, restaurants, petrol and other miscellaneous expenses incurred by families who must take sick children to hospitals or other medical facilities for frequent treatments.
The main attraction at this year’s fundraising event in terms of raffle prizes is a trip for two adults and two children to Disneyland Paris.
“Anybody who would be willing to offer some sponsorship we would love to hear from them. Even though times are difficult we find that people are still so generous,” said Terry who paid tribute to the fundraising committee and the wider community for their ongoing support. “The support has been just terrific. The committee members have been beside us all the way. We are looking forward to the event this year. A lot of work and effort goes into it but it all pays off,” she said.
A contribution will be made on the night to the Johnny Ryan Benefit Fund. Mr Ryan from Bruff suffered a spinal injury following an accident at during the summer. The funds will go towards putting essential equipment in place for his return home.
The commemorative night takes place on Saturday, January 14 from 9pm and will feature music by Nightfall.