‘Thank You’ to Dungarvan GROW for Fantastic Fundraising Endeavours

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GROW in Dungarvan has continued its amazing fundraising record by raising €10,000 in the first six months of 2017.

The tremendous endeavours of Gertrude and the members and supporters of the Dungarvan GROW groups have seen them continually raise in the region of €10,000 annually. This figure has been surpassed this year.

Dungarvan GROW’s fundraising endeavours began in January when church gate collections were held in the locality, with the generosity of supporters seeing some €1,525 raised. This was a fantastic kick-start to the year. This was followed by very generous donations by the Lions Club and other organisations locally.

In April, the hugely successful Flower Show, organised by Mary Hennessy and helpers, was held in conjunction with St. Mary’s Church of Ireland. The events coincided with Dungarvan Food Festival.

The floral event raised €1,000, while a further €600 was generated through a fabulous and inspiring talk delivered by GROW Patron and former Governor of Mountjoy, John Lonergan, as well as Caroline Crotty, counsellor, psychotherapist and GROW Area Coordinator.

The annual ribbon-selling in May, to coincide with Green Ribbon month, was a fantastic success due to the hard work, commitment, enthusiasm and persuasive powers of all involved. The amount generated exceeded €3,000.

There has been further donations from businesses in the locality as well as other supporters of GROW’s important work in promoting positive mental health and recovery. One member of the public even donated €500 towards GROW in Dungarvan in view of its continued good work.

In all, some €10,000 has been raised within six months.

Furthermore, in an amazing feat, Martin from GROW in Dungarvan walked the Camino for 37 days. Martin raised some €2,000 for GROW. Sincere and heartfelt thanks is extended to Martin for so generously supporting GROW.

The following is a light-hearted ‘Fly on the Wall’ account of Dungarvan’s fundraising endeavours by a Dungarvan GROWer…

First let me introduce myself. I’m a fly, a common one and I live high up near the ceiling in the room where GROW meets in Durgarvan and where I am safe from the onslaughts of Gertrude’s long brush. Nobody sees me but I see and hear everything. But there’s no no need to worry, I always join in the commitment to confidentiality and anyway I have no interest in telling tales except good ones and the one I’m going to tell you now is one of the best.

My tale is about the amazing fundraising activities of the Dungarvan groups.  A boring statistic first… every year they raise approximately €10,000 for GROW.

Anyway to get on with my tale… and to be honest I’m so exhausted from it all that I hope they slow down for the summer and let a fly take care and control of his body.

Early January, the talk down below was about church gates, buckets, permits.  “Well they will have to get on with it,” I thought to myself.  Early cold morning masses held no appeal for me and anyway how would I get there?

But the buzz got to me and so early on the morning of 14th of January, I found a cosy spot for myself in one of the buckets. That was all very well til enormous coins began pounding my poor body but I hung in there in a corner saying to myself what I heard them below often saying “I am more durable than… ”

Eventually, I was conveyed in my bucket to Chris’s house where she had a huge Irish breakfast ready for the hungry collectors. Then it was off to the later masses.

I gave them a skip as the opening of Gertrude’s door was too good a chance for me to get back in my spot near the ceiling. I needed to rest up after the coin thumping I had endured. It’s hard to believe it but they made 1,525, a great start to the year’s fundraising.

Another thing I saw from my vantage point was the postman coming with cheques from the Lions Club and other organisations who think we, I mean them down there, think do great work.  I would not fancy asking a lion for money, I would be afraid but GROWers talk about “sufficient care, sufficient risk” and it seems to work.

The next event in April was very nearly the death of me… the food festival and Mary Hen’s flower show in the Church of Ireland.  I managed to get myself to the venue in one of Mary’s flower arrangements and I had a ball there soaking up the scents, the atmosphere, the colour and of course there was an abundance of fly food… buns with cream and jam… yummy.  Strangely enough the humans were reluctant to share with me, don’t know what all the fuss was about.

Mary Hen and Jenny swatting at me with tea towels and yelling something about food hygiene even though there was enough for everyone.  Anyway we made… sorry GROW made (a fly needs to know his place) 1,000.

Then the next night, we had John Lonergan and Caroline Crotty.  John was great but Caroline was any fly’s fancy, so comfortable in her skin like me in my wings. I had to “compel my muscles and wings to act rightly in spite of my feelings”, not wanting Caroline to think I was inappropriate or anything like that.  Anyway we made €600!

And then it was onward to the annual ribbon selling in May – better weather for a fly to be out. Gertrude was tearing her hair out, a pity because its nice hair even if its getting a bit thin in places.

I was hard put to know which collector I would piggy back with so I decided that Gert (that’s what they call her down below ) would be my best bet. She does not notice flies when her heart is set on money.  So I flew into the car behind her back and long story short found myself in Supervalu.

I secured myself a safe spot high up and flapped my little wings as euro after euro poured into the boxes.

I don’t have the gift of bi-location and could only imagine what was happening at the other collection points. I got my chance when word came that there was no collector at the front of the shopping centre. Gert took off like a bat out of hell and I barely had time to hitch a lift on her head.

We were careening across the Square when she felt me – a little tickle was all it was as I clutched on for dear life. Swatting at me with one hand she dropped the boxes she had in the other.

Words were used that I never heard before.  I flew off to a telephone pole til decorum was restored.  You would think I was going to kill her with the fuss she made.  She should have used the four stabilising questions but she did not.  Strange isn’t it to know GROW so well and not use it when panic attacks.

Anyway we took off again, a long flight for a fly. Richie had turned up and was doing a great job as were all the other collectors because when the money was counted it amounted to more than €3,000.

I needed my home comforts after all the excitement but from my spot near the ceiling I saw the post man coming again this time with donations from businesses. I actually saw one ordinary man, not a business man, give a cheque for €500 and a request for “no acknowledgement please” but I saw what I saw and I think it was fabulous generosity and humility.

By now I was really exhausted, but I hear them say down below that “tiredness is only tirednes”  but that its not a thing to say to a tired person nor to a tired fly either I would add. I kept saying “I can compel my muscles and wings…”

Tired or not we simply had to go to Richie’s concert in Lismore. Now that posed a dilemma for me – how to get there but where there’s a will there’s a way and I tucked myself up in the body of Richie’s guitar.

All was heaven on earth til Richie played the first note. For me it was like being catapulted into outer space and for Richie his yell of “What’s that “ accompanied by what sounded like holy words said it all. I had a lovely warm spot high up near the roof.  Numbers were low but Richie played and sang his heart out and we ….sorry.. GROW made over €300.

Martin walked the Camino for 37 days for GROW. I passed on that one… the walking or for me the flying would be fine but I would never get past security.  GROW did very well from this amazing gesture on Martin’s part, with some €2,000 raised.

Kieran also has something up his sleeve to get more money but at the minute he is just working on it.

€10,000 in six months… that’s some collecting. I’m all puffed up so delighted am I with the achievement of my groups.

See the below video featuring Gertrude from Dungarvan de-enacting her Fly tale…