independent

Wednesday 16 January 2019

High Hopes for 2019 as event closes in on €1million mark

Una Doherty (chairperson Hope Centre), Michael Jordan (race director) and Denise McDonald (Hope Centre)
Una Doherty (chairperson Hope Centre), Michael Jordan (race director) and Denise McDonald (Hope Centre)
Hope Centre volunteers
Linda Tobin-Kavanagh (PRO Hope & Dream) and Darragh Clifford (Deputy Group Editor, People Newspapers)
Liam Waters(acting manager Enniscorthy CU), Denise McDonald (Hope Centre), Alan Doyle, Michael Jordan (race director), Aine Doyle and Nicky Cosgrave at the launch

Pádraig Byrne

While for many it was hard to believe it was that time again, a crowd of by now familiar faces filed into Enniscorthy Credit Union on Thursday night to once again to launch this year's Hope & Dream 10. Since 2012, the annual fundraising run has grown and grown in stature and has gone on to take its place as one of the most successful events of its kind in the South East. For this event at least, the expression 'mighty oaks from little acorns grow' is an apt one.

Over the past six years, the event has hit a whopping €974,034 in funds raised for the Hope Cancer Support Centre and other worthy local causes and this year the sights are firmly set on cracking the €1million mark! In jubilant and optimistic form as always, Race Director Michael Jordan welcomed everyone to the launch and stated how he looked forward to working with the familiar faces who have rowed in behind the initiative in recent years, as well as some new faces. He stated the importance of community to the event and how everyone has their own reason for getting involved and taking part in the event.

'From a very small idea, this has grown into something which is much larger than the sum of its parts,' he said. 'Every penny raised goes directly to local charities and I think people are very assured in that. Last year we had 2,244 people take part and we raised €145,120, all of which went directly to the charities.'

While standard practice sees the Hope Cancer Support Centre find a new charity partner for the huge annual race every two years, Michael stated that, following much thought, it was decided that the association with Wexford Hospice Homecare would continue for the 2019 event. Una Doherty, Chairperson of the Hope Centre, said that she was delighted with this and that Eamonn Mernagh and his team contribute a lot of the event. 'It's heartening to see how much support this event gets from the people of Wexford,' Ms Doherty said, before thanking Michael Jordan and Denise McDonald for their tireless work every year.

Mr Mernagh echoed these sentiments thanking Michael and Denise for all the work they put in, along with all the volunteers who collect money, marshal the route and volunteer in a variety of different capacities.

Deputy Group Editor of People Newspapers, Darragh Clifford, outlined that once again the group was delighted to support such a worthwhile initiative as media partners. 'We find the whole process incredibly uplifting,' he said. 'There's nothing we like more than to report on a good news story which showcases the very best of community spirit across County Wexford.

'In this regard, Hope and Dream 10 is head and shoulders above any other event in the county. An event like this must be championed at every opportunity.'

Mr Clifford then outlined that kicking off in January, there would be weekly features in all editions county-wide, focusing on the work of the Hope Centre and Hospice, providing training tips and dietary advice and following the group of five leaders and the progress they make along the way.

The organisers were once again delighted to welcome Enniscorthy Credit Union on board as sponsors. Liam Waters said it was a privilege for them to see the thousands of people set off on the Promenade each year with Enniscorthy Credit Union on their backs.

'Our slogan is "Together we're stronger",' he said. 'I think the Hope & Dream is real evidence of this that when we come together as a community, we really are stronger.'

The Credit Union are official sponsors of the Hope & Dream t-shirt, which has become a source of interest in of itself each year, The assembled crowd waited with bated breath to see what colours would flood the town at this year's event and the striking red and white shirt was officially unveiled by veteran runners Joe and Kay O'Regan.

To conclude matters, Michael once again stated just how important the dedicated team of some 250 dedicated volunteers are to this event and thanked them all in advance. The big hope for this year's event is to crack the €1million fundraising mark and the group are confident that they can make this happen. Finally, with the push of a button, Hope & Dream 2019 went live and you can now sign up for the event, which takes place on April 7, 2019, at www.hopeanddream10.com.

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