independent

Saturday 25 October 2014

Dundalk Round Table reaches milestone

Published 09/10/2013 | 05:20

This year is when Dundalk Round Table is to celebrate the past, present and future all in one. The reason is that the organisation is 50 years old in town for which it plans to bring together past members and to invite newcomers to join and share in the celebrations of this special milestone in the branch's history.

A spokesman told "our focus this year is to celebrate all that has gone before us and to encourage new people to come along and join us as we enter into a new chapter in our history."

He explained "Round table is a social organisation which meets twice a month in McGeoughs Roden Place and plans networking events with other Round Table branches in Ireland and England but with also a focus on raising money for many worthwhile charities."

"For instance, Round Table Dundalk would be synonymous with the Christmas food parcel appeal and the Santa Sleigh in The Marshes which is a huge success every year. The gifts that are collected go to Vincent De Paul, Woman's Shelter, and Simon Community among others. The Marshes have been a massive support to Dundalk Round Table with the help of Harry Traynor and Sean Farrell in organising the Santa's Sleigh."

It is part of Round Table of Britain & Ireland, which is part of Round Table International and was founded in 1964 with the first meeting held in Ballymascanlon Hotel, where the members then used to meet every three weeks.

The hotel is the venue for a dinner that is being arranged in February next to celebrate the branch's Golden Jubilee, along with other events. The branch wishes to bring together as many as possible of the original members and those who were involved in the organisation down the years.

The Round Table has two equal objectives:

* To raise money for the less fortunate locally.

* To have fun doing it, with each other and with other Tables.

Members are male, but wives and partners also take part.

New members are essential for Round Table obviously. Prospective members can attend meetings or events, and then decide whether to join. Round Table is particularly suited to people who are new to Dundalk

There is a €75 p.a. membership cost to cover insurance and administrative costs, but the first year is free.

"Tablers" are asked to retire at 45, though many stay on in an honorary capacity to help out. This policy keeps the organisation young.

The activities and projects that members undertake are usually limited to what they can manage. They raise money to distribute 150 Food Parcels on the last Sunday before Christmas to needy households. Each has an approximate value of €150. They raise money for other local charities through the like of their annual golf classic, street carol singing in December in the company of the local Van Dessel choir, food collection boxes at supermarkets, sponsored walks, various functions and fund raising events and table quiz staged in early December.

They are always in need of new workers to stage events. The present officers are: Chairman, Gary Valentine, Vice Chairman, Martin McAvinney and President Tom Donaghy. Anybody interested in joining can drop in to McGeoughs of Roden Place where Andrew McGeough, Membership Officer will gladly give you further details.

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