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Lions Club of Ennis branch out Remembrance Tree around the world with online fundraising appeal

THE Lions Club of Ennis are ‘branching’ out their annual Remembrance Tree fundraising project, with people from all over the world now able to get involved.
For the past ten years the Lions Club have partnered with the Ennis Municipal District to host their fundraising campaign for Cahercalla Hospice, placing yellow ribbons containing special messages of remembrance on a Christmas tree in Ennis’ market area. The popular fundraiser has become a firm tradition of Christmas in Clare, raising on average €13,000 for Cahercalla over the years.
This year the club will be continuing that tradition, however Michael Neylon of the Ennis Lions tells us that Covid-19 has resulted in challenges with footfall not expected to be as large as it has been in previous years and fears this will result in fewer donations.
In a bid to ensure that the charity receives as much funding as possible, the Ennis Lions have initiated an on-line fundraiser, meaning not just locals, but people from across the globe can now get involved and share their own message of remembrance. The club have also embraced a variety of forms of social media, and are using it to spread the message about the appeal. Michael explains, “Christmas 2020 will be a very different year for all fundraising activities. Given the fact that the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions has negated many traditional  fundraising measures, we have been looking at innovative ways to raise money.”
He said that the organisation are “acutely aware” of the challenges facing this year’s project, however they are endeavouring to ensure the tree is decorated as in previous years with special messages of remembrance.
These can be messages of remembrance for loved ones who have passed away, or fittingly in this time of travel restrictions it can be messages for family members unable to return home this year.
“To allow this to happen we have set up an online I-donate facility  which will allow people at home and abroad to deliver their special  message as well as making a contribution. This message will be transferred to a yellow ribbon, by Lions volunteers, and attached to the tree as in previous years.”
He says that Ennis Lions members are working “tirelessly” on the initiative which has become their signature project in recent years. “Every year we raise in the region of €13,000 for Cahercalla, it’s a very popular fundraiser. Last year by the end we had difficulty to find space on the tree to display all our ribbons there were so many and we raised over €15,000. The amount raised has been going up and up for the last number of years which has benefited Cahercalla, so we couldn’t take the chance of not having this, we had to strive to achieve another method of connecting with the public this year.”
He continued, “The tree has been very popular with people over the years who want to remember loved ones who have passed away. And because people aren’t advised to come home for Christmas, we are reminding people here at home that they can remember those that are abroad also. We are also appealing to those that are away, that they might send a special message to those at home, and hang a ribbon on the tree for them.”
He said that the Ennis Lions are once again delighted to show their support for Cahercalla, and he encouraged people to take the opportunity to tie a yellow ribbon and remember somebody they love.
To get involved check https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11393994_lions-club-of-ennis-remembrance-tree.html

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