Christmas is all about giving and there is no better time to give back to those in the community who deserve some recognition for all the good that they do. Such was the call out that Cry104fm put to the East Cork / West Waterford community this Christmas, and the response was amazing.
We asked that people nominate a group or an individual who they felt put others before themselves and deserved a little treat for Christmas. Over 40 nominations in total came in, each one deserving in their own right and each one an example of the underlining goodwill which runs through this community.
The task fell to a panel of 4 to choose the winner – no easy task given the calibre of the nominations. After much debate 3 people emerged as the winners. Each winner was deemed to have provided immense support to the people around them, each one very unassuming in giving that support and thus each one a deserving winner:
Pat Carey – Winner of a Barrys Tea Hamper.
Pat has been heavily involved in the community for the last number of years. Following a cancer diagnosis and treatment, he decided that now he would give back to the community and he has done so ever since. Each year he decorates his house with an amazing light show at Christmas with all the money raised going to the Cancer Support Unit in The Mercy Hospital. He has raised over €14,000 and has vowed to keep doing it for as long as he can.
If he is not putting up Christmas lights he is volunteering his time to other groups in the town. Pat on receipt of his prize was genuinely shocked and extremely grateful, because as he put it this was his town recognising him, something that you can’t put a price on.
Denise Fitzgerald – Winner of a Ballymaloe Hamper.
There are very few people in the community that don’t know Denise Fitzgerald. She is one of the most accommodating people that you could ever meet. Countless groups, events and people have called on her to give them coverage and help highlight their cause and she has always been ready, willing and able.
Always with a cheerful deposition, you would often see her running from one event to another because she wanted to ensure that she helped out as many people as she could out.
So many charity groups have accredited her for the crowds that attended their events due to the coverage that she gave them. Nothing was ever too much for Denise and the community wanted to acknowledge it.
When Denise was contacted about her prize, it was the day after her retirement and she said that it gave her such an unbelievable lift in a time when she was feeling a bit down. I think it fair to say that a cheque from the National Lottery would have received the same gratitude that I received that day making the call – she was stunned and delighted. This, she said, was such a wonderful thing for her to get and she truly was grateful.
Sophie Lawlor – Winner of an Inglot Voucher
Sophie was nominated by her mum Alison. Sophie is sister to Thomas and Alex who both suffer from Autism, and has been a rock to the family.
Her mum told us that she is so deserving of a treat for all the work she does at home, and her amazing attitude to life.
Sophie was turning 16 just before Christmas and the win tied in nicely with her birthday which fell on the day that Alison collected the prize on her behalf.
Well done Sophie and we hope that you had a great Christmas.