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Cancer charity loses €700,000 after big Daffodil Day washout

THE biggest cancer fundraising event of the year is already more than €700,000 down in takings after suffering a washout on the day.

The Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day, held on March 22, saw volunteers selling the flowers drenched with rain while members of the public were buffeted by the wet and wind.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: "So far we have been tracking money based on how much was in on this time last year. Based on those figures, we are more than 50pc down.

"Normally at this stage of the campaign we would have received half of the total funds for the campaign, over €1.5m. Based on this, we estimate that the campaign could be more than €700,000 down on last year's campaign at this point."

Around 4,000 volunteers took to the streets and set up in shopping centres in towns selling fresh daffodils.

She added that the fundraising target was €3.4m.

"We would not have the final total until about six months after the day. A large bulk of money from street sales in the major cities comes in quickly because we collect it.

'Crisis'

"Money collected by groups in towns or villages can take some time to come in as they often want to hold a special cheque presentation or event some months after Daffodil Day."

She added: "The public and media response to our crisis appeal has been great, and for that we are grateful. "And more people have donated online than ever before."

However, she pointed out that online and text donations were included in the tracking. "So even with that support, we are still down significantly."

All funds raised are used to pay for the charity's free nationwide care, information and support services for people with cancer and their families.

As cancer rates increase around 26,000 people will be told they have the disease this year – and by 2020 that number will increase to 40,000.

And the National Cancer Helpline (Freefone 1800 200 700) offers a chance for patients or others to talk about the disease.

People who want to donate can do so in a number of ways:

• Phone CallSave 1850 60 60 60.

• Text Daff to 50300 to donate €4.

• Make a donation online – visit www.cancer.ie/daffodilday.

• Buy a virtual daffodil on the Irish Cancer Society's Facebook page.

• Download the Daffodil Day smartphone app, available free from all app stores.

Irish Independent