National Lottery has good cause to honour Cork's unsung heroes
Over the more than three decades since the National Lottery was founded it has generated more than €5.4 billion for a wide variety of good causes across the length and breadth of Ireland.
In fact, almost 30c in each €1 spent on National Lottery games - more than €620,000 per day - goes back to good causes with €227 million being channelled back into communities across the country last year alone.
While this may all too often go unnoticed by the general public, this funding has often proved vital to the sterling, and all too often essential work, undertaken by communities, clubs and individuals.
In Cork alone thousands of projects have benefited though the Good Causes initiative, among them the Fermoy-based Blackwater Sub Aqua Club, whose chairman Timmy Carey said the funding they received had been crucial to its very survival.
Last year the National Lottery launched a new initiative, The Good Causes Awards, which highlights and honours the "inspiring work and achievements" of the funding recipients.
Applications for this year scheme have now been opened, with sports clubs and community groups across Cork invited to enter and even perhaps earn a share of the €95,000 prize fund on offer.
Under the initiative awards will be handed out across the following categories: sport, health & well-being, arts/culture, heritage, community, youth affairs and the Irish language.
The awards are open to those who received Good Causes funding in 2016 and 2017, with county and regional category finals leading up to the televised gala awards dinner in November. Each national category winner will receive a cool €10,000, with the overall Good Cause of the Year scooping an additional €25,000.
National Lottery CEO Dermot Griffin said it was fitting that the work done by Good Causes recipients in helping to shape their respective communities shown be publicly recognised and rewarded.
"This money, whether it be six-figure sums or smaller amounts has, and continues to, make a significant impact. Through these awards, we want to show how ordinary people, organisations, clubs and projects are doing extraordinary things in their communities," said Mr Griffin.
"The National Lottery is used to celebrating winners. However, we have thousands of unsung heroes who work quietly under the radar to make positive changes and these awards reflect their dedication and commitment," he added.
To find out more about the Good Causes Awards and to check eligibility visit www.lottery.ie/goodcausesawards.