Saturday 24 August 2019

Hope and Dream 10 raises record sum

A total of €180,190 was raised at this year's Hope and Dream 10 to help cancer charities

Maria Condon, Denise McDonald (Hope Centre), Joan Roche, Maudie Maher, Eamonn Mernagh (chairman, Hospice), Maura O’Leary, Evelyn
Kinsella and Patricia Edwards
Maria Condon, Denise McDonald (Hope Centre), Joan Roche, Maudie Maher, Eamonn Mernagh (chairman, Hospice), Maura O’Leary, Evelyn Kinsella and Patricia Edwards

Simon Bourke

After eight years of staging the event, the organisers of the Hope and Dream 10 charity run were humbled and proud to announce that 2019 proved a record-breaking year for fundraising.

There was a buzz of anticipation in a packed Enniscorthy Credit Union last week as organisers revealed that a whopping €180,190 had been raised for the 2019 rendition of the race.

This figure surpasses last year's €145,120 and indeed all previous amounts raised since the race began in 2012.

At a special announcement in Enniscorthy Credit Union last Wednesday evening, race organisers Michael Jordan and Denise McDonald announced the sum. They were helped by official race-starter Darragh Jordan who, with the audience holding their breath, pressed the button and revealed the magical sum.

'It's a huge figure, and a tribute to the event that after eight years no one is getting tired of it, the money is increasing which is amazing,' said Michael. 'We know that all that money will be put to good use. Our motto, "If we do nothing nothing will happen", has stood to us very well, it's a reminder that when you do the right thing with the right people anything can happen.'

The money will now be shared between the Hope Cancer Support Centre, who receive €108,114, and Wexford Hospice Homecare who get €72,076. Representatives from both organisations spoke of how grateful they were to be associated with the event and how indebted they were to the people of Wexford for their support.

'To make a successful event like this happen takes work, dedication and commitment,' said Una Doherty, Chairperson of the Hope Cancer Support Centre. 'To that extent we have to thank Michael Jordan and Denise McDonald for all their work, without them this event would not happen. It's only when you're involved that you see the amount of work that's put in. Thank you for everything, the money will go towards good causes, and is more than welcome.'

Eamonn Mernagh, Chair of Wexford Hospice Homecare, highlighted the contribution of those working behind the scenes to ensure the race runs smoothly every year. 'The work that went on behind the scenes for this event was fantastic. I know 2500 people turned out on the day, but there were hundreds of people working before, during and after the race.'

He then outlined the difficulties involved in running an organisation like Wexford Hospice and the importance of being associated with an event such as Hope and Dream 10. 'The Hospice are so delighted to be involved in this. We need between €700,000-800,000 per year to run the service and we get €200,000 from the Government. This breaks the back in our fundraising every year, the people of County Wexford keep us going, without the likes of this we'd be in awful trouble, we just couldn't keep going, it's as simple as that. Micheal and Denise, what can I say about them? They do everything, On behalf of the Hospice, we'd like to thank everyone involved, all the sponsors, we're indebted to you all.'

Yet, for Michael Jordan the annual event has become something to be enjoyed, something to be savoured.

'Someone asked me was I proud? I said I'm humbled, we don't do it for anything other than our own enjoyment of it. It's our pleasure and privilege to work with them. It's a wonderful event, we love doing it. The word that comes to mind, it's not fundraising, not charity, it's fun. From registrations, to packaging, to putting up barriers at 5.30 a.m., to picking up water bottles afterwards, I have to say I've never heard a negative word out of everyone, that's a tribute to the people who support us.'

And Michael said the money represents just part of what makes Hope and Dream 10 so special.

'At the end of the day the cheques we give tonight will help many, many people. We won't know their names, won't know much about them, but we'll know that the work the Hope Centre and the Hospice Centre do is absolutely vital for Wexford. This year we passed €1 million, but it's more to do with the money, it's the people who contributed from their savings and their hard-earned money to make up that money, that's significant to me; they wanted to do that and they did it willingly and with a smile.'

With his colleague and co-organiser, Denise McDonald, shying away from the spotlight, Michael maintained what has become something of a tradition during these annual announcements.

'As a tradition for the night, I never thank or name Denise especially. I don't say that without her it couldn't happen, that she does a brilliant job and everything is perfect, and at her request I don't say any of those things, so I won't say them again,' he said with a knowing smile.

Before the evening came to a close, Michael played a video created by Michael Reck of Graphedia which epitomised what the Hope and Dream 10 is about. Featuring all those involved, from competitors to organisers and stewards the video was accompanied by a song played by Peter Hughes entitled 'Keep on the Sunny Side of Life'. Earlier this year Peter recorded and released a CD with all proceeds from its sales going to the Hope Centre.

The date for next year's Hope and Dream 10 has been set, it will take place on April 5.

Enniscorthy Guardian