MORE than €6,000 was raised for Cahercalla Hospice through the creation of a Christmas remembrance tree in the centre of Ennis.
In a joint project between the Lions Club of Ennis and Ennis Rotary Club, working together for the first time, a special tree of remembrance was placed in Ennis’ Market Square throughout the festive season.
People were asked to buy a yellow ribbon in memory of a loved on, either somebody who had passed away or even somebody who was away from home at Christmas. Funds raised went to the valuable work of Cahercalla Hospice.
The name of each loved one was written on the yellow ribbon and placed on the tree. Last Friday, the ribbons were presented at an ecumenical remembrance service in St Columba’s Church, Bindon Street.
President of Ennis Rotary Club, John Galvin said, “This is an idea that has been done around the country but it’s the first time that it has been done in Ennis.
“The remembrance tree wasn’t just about remembering those who had passed away, it was also used to remember those people who were not around at Christmas. Emigration has become a big issue and many people took the opportunity to remember those who have left Clare.
“We were absolutely delighted with the response and I would like to express our appreciation to everybody who contributed. The project was very well supported and Ennis Rotary Club, Lions Club of Ennis and Cahercalla were wholeheartedly behind the effort.
“The ecumenical remembrance service itself was a wonderful occasion, with Rev Bob Hannah and Fr Tom Hogan contributing, as well as the music of Doireann Wylde’s Wylde Roses, which gave a great atmosphere.”
Tom Carey, project co-ordinator from the Lions Club of Ennis said the initiative was such a success that it is hoped to make it an annual event.
“This was our first attempt at doing a ribbon tree. It’s not a new concept. It’s something that has been developed in other towns and cities with a fair degree of success. The Lions Club traditionally over the years, with the co-operation of Ennis Town Council, asked businesses to sponsor light bulbs on the tree with funds going to the Brothers of Charity.
“But this year we decided to do something different in a joint project with Ennis Rotary Club and we felt that in the context of remembrance, Cahercalla Hospice would be the ideal beneficiary of the fundraiser.”
He confirmed that in excess of €6,000 was raised for Cahercalla. “We are very pleased with how this event has gone and we see its potential for the future. We are hoping to negotiate with Ennis Town Council and we have lots of ideas with how to make the project even better in years to come.
“This was a joint event run with Ennis Rotary Club and there was very good co-operation between us,” he concluded.