Friends host a double night of celebration

Friends host a double night of celebrations at St. Ita’s: Due to the outstanding success of 2019 for the Friends of St. Ita’s, which saw numerous events involving many groups, clubs and organisations taking place over the year, meant that the Friends’ annual ‘thank you’ get together at St. Ita’s had to be run over two nights to accommodate the large numbers involved in the running of these events. And so the annual Christmas get-together, originally planned to take place in early December, but because of an outbreak of flu in St. Ita’s it had to be
postponed until 14th and 15th January and for that we wish to apologise to one and all.

As ever the celebrations, which took place in a very pleasant, relaxed and informal atmosphere proved to be a great success but it has to be said , very much overshadowed by the very noticeable absence of the late great John Joe Nash who had been our guest-of-honour at so many of these functions in the past. John Joe who had been a very staunch and loyal supporter of the Friends over many years sadly passed on to his Heavenly Reward on 2nd September last. Needless to say, he continues to be very sadly missed by the Friends and all here in St.Ita’s and, indeed, in the community. We covered John Joe’s long involvement with the Friends and his sad departure from this life at length in our last Press release to the Weekly Observer on 30th October last relating to the John Joe Nash Memorial Walk held in John Joe’s memory on 22nd September and so we say again – Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

Coming back to our get together which had 40/50 guests in attendance each night was very much enjoyed by one and all who were treated to a great selection of beautiful food served up by the very friendly and courteous staff who looked after everyone so well and so professionally as, of course, they always do on these occasions. And afterwards the guests were able to sit back, relax and listen to an account of all the fundraising events which had taken place over the year followed by an update of our many achievements secured on foot of the fundraising to-date and then concluding with a look to the future, our hopes, aspirations and plans to continue to improve the conditions, services and facilities for the residents at St. Ita’s which, because of the age of the building (19th Century) is very much an ongoing challenge but, one which the Friends, with the help and support of this wonderful community, are ready, willing and able to take on and overcome as, indeed, we have done so many times in the past!

Both nights saw a number of cheque presentations and so marking the close of this aspect of our fundraising for 2019 which raised the fantastic sum of over €60,000. The Friends are absolutely thrilled with the progress of our fundraising campaign and the success of 2019 is yet further evidence of that truly marvellous progress said Chairman, Fergus Scanlan who, once again on behalf of the Friends of St. Ita’s and Management and Staff would like to express our most grateful thanks and appreciation to all those wonderful groups, clubs and organisations and the very many other individuals who continue to support us so loyally and so steadfastly and so maintaining the phenomenal success which we have come to enjoy over the many years of our fundraising campaign ,which is now in its 18th year with a total close on €3.8 Million raised to-date. Indeed, as we have said so very many times before, it is that generosity and that loyalty which is the very lifeblood of our success and for that we will always be greatly indebted to the people of this great community of West Limerick and beyond.

In our most recent Press release to the Observer on 30th October last we included details of our fundraising events for the year up to that point and in the meantime we had the following fundraisers bringing us up to the end of 2019 and for which the Friends and Management and Staff would, once again, like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to each and everyone involved in the running of these events –

October – Newcastle West GAA Club ran an afternoon tea and fashion show fundraiser (mentioned in our last Press release but details of amount raised were not to hand at the time) and so this event raised the very generous sum of €2,014.00; Also in October the Friends were given a very generous donation of €500 from Newcastle West Flower Club from funds on hands following the winding up of the Flower show committee;

November – Wyeth Nutritional Ireland, Askeaton gave a very generous donation of €1,000.00 from their Charity Christmas Fund ; Hayden Gilbert, Occupational Therapist at St. Ita’s gave very generous donation of €250.00 from his ‘beekeeping’ fundraiser; Also Newcastle West Bridge Club gave a very generous donation of €350.00 from their Charity night which raised €3,500.00 divided between 10 charities . December : Wings Golfing Society , Newmarketon-Fergus (Charity Section) gave avery generous donation of €750.00 to the Friends having
been nomination by John Devine, Manager of Newcastle West Golf Club who was involved in this Fundraiser (this is our 4th year to receive such a donation thanks to John); Dromcollogher Bridge Club gave a very generous donation of €200.00 from their Charity Night ; January ’20 : Ballyhahill ‘Wren-boy’ group gave a very generous donation of €400.00 from their Christmas 2019 ‘Wren-boy ‘ fundraiser.

Once again we say a very big ‘thank you’ to all the wonderful people involved in these fundraisers and to all who supported them so generously resulting in such a successful outcome each and every time.

Once more The Friends would like to say very many thanks to Eddie O’Connell, Chef and his wonderful Kitchen Staff for the truly superb job they did on each of the two nights of our ‘get-together’ they are, indeed, a credit to St. Ita’s! Likewise we say a very, very special ‘thank you’ to the equally wonderful and ever-pleasant Staff in Reception and in Admin for all their invaluable help and support throughout the year.

And, indeed, we likewise say very many thanks to Management and Staff throughout the hospital for all their assistance and support not just in 2019 but over all of the years since we started our fundraising campaign back in 2003. And as
the Friends of St. Ita’s we have been delighted to reciprocate in providing our help and support in every way possible and working together as one great team towards ensuring the delivery of the best possible service for the residents of this great hospital, which at the end of the day is, and always has been, our ultimate goal!

As always we conclude with a very grateful ‘thank you’ to the marvellous staff at the Weekly Observer for their ongoing wonderful support for which we are greatly indebted and in that we very much include Pauline and Monica of our local Observer office here in Newcastle West who are always exceptionally helpful as, indeed, is Eddie Guiry, Observer Photographer ! Finally the Friends
would like to take this opportunity to wish all the residents and Management and Staff here in St. Ita’s and to our very many , many loyal supporters and friends a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2019 and beyond and God’s blessing on each and every one !

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