Wicklow Rose Roisin Long raised €5,000 for Wicklow charities at a hugely successful fundraiser in Arklow’s Gallery Bar last month.
The fundraiser, which was in aid of Arklow Cancer Support and the Wicklow Hospice, was also a send-off of sorts for Roisin on her way to the Rose of Tralee competition which takes later this month, between August 19-23.
In the lead up to the fundraiser the Rose of Tralee finalist approached Arklow businesses, asking them to donate raffle prizes. The response from local traders was emphatic, with business owners donating more than 30 raffle prizes.
With the prizes secured, Roisin sold raffle tickets in Pettitt’s Super Valu in Arklow the weekend before the event, where she was shocked by the generosity of the Arklow community.
“The support was immense, I couldn’t get over it,” Roisin said. “It definitely wouldn’t have been as successful without the help of all the local businesses who generously donated so many prizes.
“When I was selling the raffle tickets I got to meet a lot of people and hear their stories. Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. That’s what I really loved about the whole fundraising experience, getting to connect with people.”
Fundraising and charitable work is indeed in the Wicklow Rose’s DNA. Last year, she raised over €2,000 for Arklow Cancer support, by doing a swim-a-day for the month of May.
“Fundraising has been a personal passion of mine for quite sometime. So, this year, fundraising was my main goal again. It just happened that my platform got a little bit bigger this year!”
Roisin was quick to thank her former boss Ken at the Gallery Bar for hosting the fundraiser, and for arranging the entertainment on the night, which was provided by local musician Des Tobin. The fundraiser had a relaxed theme with BBQ and beer kegs, all sponsored by local businesses.
“We had a great turnout,” Roisin continued. “Some people travelled really far to surprise me. The Cavan and Kilkenny Roses came to support me too. The night was such a success. Now I’m just really looking forward to meeting Arklow Cancer Support and the Wicklow Hospice to hand over the donations next week.
“To be honest, everything recently is just so surreal. It’s brilliant. The generosity of people has been immense. I’m so thankful for it.”
Roisin and the other Rose of Tralee finalists will be heading on tour on August 11, in preparation for the finals later this month.