Kilkenny Lions Spirit of Christmas Hamper Appeal Launch

Brian Cody, Pat O’Hanlon (President of the Kilkenny Lions Club), Andrew McGuinness, (Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council) and Mayor John Coonan PICTURE: Vicky Comerford

The  Lions “Spirit of Christmas Hamper Appeal” was launched recently in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle by Cathaoirleach Andrew McGuinness, Mayor John Coonan, Lions President Pat O’Hanlon and special guest Brian Cody.

Cathaoirleach Andrew McGuinness thanked the Lions for the significant amount of money they have allocated over the years to organisations in County Kilkenny .  He said that, without the Lions support, many organisations would find it difficult to fully fund their programmes.

It is hard for a lot of people in these difficult times and he appealed to those who are in a position to help, to dig deep and help a good local cause.

He thanked the Kilkenny People and KCLR who do such great work in promoting the appeal.

 At the launch , Mayor John Coonan referred to the various fundraising activities of the Lions Club and said that  he knew  it was a challenging time for the Lions club and other charities throughout Kilkenny as Covid restrictions have affected their ability to run a number of fundraising events.

John congratulated the Lions Club for the positive contribution they make in Kilkenny. Many organisations benefit greatly from the Lions fundraising and he thanked all those volunteers in these organisations who do such great work in our community.

Lions President Pat O’Hanlon said he was delighted to launch our 2020 “Spirit of Christmas” Hamper Appeal. This is a fundraising campaign undertaken annually by Kilkenny Lions Club in partnership with KCLR and Kilkenny People.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives, the future has never felt so unpredictable. These are challenging times for all of us and I appreciate the pressures so many businesses and people are under. In times like this we are reminded how interconnected we all are, as we try and serve those less well of in our society. Now, more than ever, our community needs our help, and we need your support.

The “Spirit of Christmas” builds on the success of the annual hamper appeal which has been run by Kilkenny Lions Club for the last twenty eight years.  This and other events, to date, have raised more than €780,000 over that period.  100% of the money collected is distributed to the charities as no administration or other costs are incurred. The proceeds have gone to assist many local organizations such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Kilkenny Social Services, Church of Ireland, Good Shepherd Centre,Amber Women’s Refuge Centre and many other organisations throughout the City and County of Kilkenny.  In total, Kilkenny Lions have supported over 90 local community organizations over that period.

 The primary fund raising is through the auction and sale of goods or services donated by local businesses.  The appeal is divided into two sections, a “Farm Section” and a “General Section”.  The Kilkenny People Newspaper publishes the “General” and “Farm Auction” lists with names of over 200 businesses over a three week period prior to and during the auction.  The goods or services are then auctioned by KCLR96FM on “air” and it is hoped over €20,000 will be raised. The General and Farm Auctions will take place this year in late November and early December.

We also expect to have a shop available during this period to display the items to be auctioned and where people can collect the purchase afterwards.

This event would not be the wonderful success that it has been over the years without the support and generosity of many hard working people in our community. Kilkenny Lions would like to thank the many people who contribute unselfishly each year to making this a success –

  • KCLR and Kilkenny People for their partnership over the years.
  • Brian Cody for his unfailing support each year
  • The 200 or so, local businesses, without whose generosity the auction could not happen.
  • The people of Kilkenny who donate so generously
  • Fellow members of the Lions Club who give hugely of their time each year.

He acknowledged that this year will be very challenging with a number of other fundraising events having to be cancelled because of Covid. They include the Schools Concert, Wine Fair, and sponsored Duck Race He announced a new fundraising event by the club which will use the medium of social media namely GoFundMe, to help compensate for these lost events.

Pat concluded by thanking again everybody for their support of the Lions Charity Appeal and he is confident that it will be a tremendous success

Brian  Cody congratulated the Lions for all their great work over the years and he was delighted to have been  asked again to launch the appeal with the Mayor, Cathaoirleach and the President of Kilkenny Lions Club.

He referred to the generosity of the people of Kilkenny who are never found wanting in helping the less well off in our community.

He also thanked the business community who every year donate a significant amount of items for the auction.

He concluded by wishing Lions every success over the Christmas period.

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