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SVP car draw raises more than €275k to help struggling families

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St Vincent de Paul (South-West) regional president Paddy O’Flynn, regional vice-president for Kerry, Mary Frances Behan and the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher.

St Vincent de Paul (South-West) regional president Paddy O’Flynn, regional vice-president for Kerry, Mary Frances Behan and the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher.

St Vincent de Paul (South-West) regional president Paddy O’Flynn, regional vice-president for Kerry, Mary Frances Behan and the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher.

corkman

A LUCKY Ovens woman will be sitting pretty behind the wheel of a spanking new Ford Focus after scooping the top prize in the annual St Vincent de Paul (South West) fundraising car draw.

Aileen O’Leary will pick up the keys to her new car after her tickets was draw out of the pot by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher.

The annual draw is a critically important source of income for the charity, given that 80% of their core fundraising takes place from October through December.

It has taken on increased significance over the past two-years, due to the enforced closure of the ‘Vincent’s’ shops for long periods and the cancellation of many fundraising events and church gate collections due to the pandemic.

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The charity revealed that they received an “unprecedented” amount of calls for help from struggling individuals and families across the south-west over the final months of 2021 – with an average of 1,000 people each week reaching out for their assistance.

They said that one in six callers said they were struggling to pay basic utility bills such as gas, electricity and fuel, with many people are also finding themselves in arrears with utility suppliers following the lifting of an embargo put in place during the pandemic to prevent people being cut off.

SVP regional president Paddy O’Flynn said the volume of people contacting them has reached never before experienced levels, with 15% of callers to the charity in December doing so for the first time.

Speaking at the car draw Mr O’Flynn said the more than €275,000 it raised through ticket sales and donations would go a “long way” towards helping struggling families across the region.

“The money will help fund key supports such as food vouchers and hampers, heat and utility costs and education, with families contacting the Society seeking urgent assistance and support for each of these in recent weeks,” said Mr O’Flynn.

“All of the money raised in Cork going to support families and individuals in need in Cork, and all the proceeds raised in Kerry going directly to support families and individuals in Kerry,” he added.

Mr O’Flynn extended sincere thanks to everyone who donated or bought raffle tickets for the draw also to the CAB Motor Company for their continued support.

“We’ve always had extremely generous support for our annual car draw from the people in Cork and surrounding areas and once again we are truly humbled by the generosity of the public during such difficult times,” said Mr O’Flynn.

“We made no secret of the fact that this was going to be an unprecedentedly difficult year for us in terms of fundraising as a result of Covid-19 and people came out in their droves to support us - it was a huge success,” he added.

Full list of prize winners:

1st prize - 2021 Ford Focus:
Aileen O Leary, Ovens, Co Cork.

2nd prize - €1,500.
Barbara Twomey, Kilworth, Co Cork.

3rd prize - €750.
Mary Lonergan, Old Youghal Road, Cork.

4th prize - €500.
Noelle Burke, Mahon, Cork.

5th prize - €250.
Tom Fitzgerald, Ballyheigue, Co Kerry.

6th prize - €250.
Matthew Scott, Cork City.

Bishops prize - €1,000.
Gavin Collins, Ballyhooly, Co. Cork.


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