Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fundraiser Presents €209,976.62 to the “Burns Unit”

Staff from St. James Hospital and St. James Fundraising Foundation receiving a cheque of €209,976.62, the proceeds of the various fundraising activities which took part during the 131 days of fundraising for The Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fund.

Staff from St. James Hospital and St. James Fundraising Foundation receiving a cheque of €209,976.62, the proceeds of the various fundraising activities which took part during the 131 days of fundraising for The Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fund.

The proceeds of the ‘131 days’ Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fundraising was presented in the presence of a capacity crowd in Castlemahon to Odhran Shelly, Director of the National Burns Unit, St. James’s Hospital, last Friday night.

The scale of the achievement of this fundraiser was way beyond the wildest expectations of even the greatest optimist. The presentation of the sum of €209,976.62 was preceded by a clear picture of the journey that was travelled by everybody who played a role in this magnificent event over the past 6 months.

Liam Woulfe, chairman of the committee who led this project, thanked everybody who got involved and who turned on an extraordinary show of spirit, support and innovativeness to maximise the success of the ‘131 Days’ Joanne Thanksgiving Fundraising.

He especially thanked the 500+ sponsorship card holders and 10,000+ contributors, the 63 feeder event hosts, organisers, participant’s audiences and contributors and each and every one of the 2,400 Walk/Run/Cycle, participants and the 165+ helpers and many other contributors at every event. “A massive thank you to all, from Joanne and all her team,” he said. “Without all the magnificent skills, ingenuities, and sheer can-do attitude of each and everybody in Castlemahon, west Limerick, Limerick, all over Ireland and far beyond, the success of this event would only have been a shadow of what it has turned out to be….thank you all so much for you extraordinary kindness and friendship.

“This magnificent presentation to the Burns Unit reflects the appreciation of each and every contributor for the great support that the unit gave to Joanne in her hour of need and now to enable it to make the Burns Unit an even better place for future patients.”

Liam went on to thank each organiser of each feeder event all over Limerick, other counties in Ireland and the many marvellous overseas events. “The organisers, participants and contributors both young and old will always have a very special place in our hearts. The major and critical role played by the very extensive list of very generous people and businesses who sponsored much of the food and all the incidental expenses was amazing because through all this generosity we were able to fulfill our commitment of having 100% of all the proceeds being presented to the Burns Unit,” he said. On behalf of the team Liam thanked every one of these sponsors very sincerely for their amazing support.”

Liam expressed an immense appreciation to all the local media without whom the outcome of our initiative would be very small. He highlighted the extraordinarily supportive, constructive and generous role each of them plays in our community.

He also expressed a very special thank you to Canon Duhig, Fr. Cussen, Fr. Duggan, Fr. Tim Curtin, Fr. Tony Mullins, May O’Brien, the Castlemahon sacristan, and the altar servers for playing such a pivotal role in key church events and ceremonies.

Committee member Mike Field who led the organisation of the Walk/Run/Cycle praised everyone involved in the preparation and running the event on the day and he expressed his immense appreciation to all the stewards, land owners who provided car parking facilities, fire brigade crew, health and safety team, Cycling Ireland, West Limerick AC, and the Gardai and all the local organisations for their magnificent diligence and understanding during the lead in and on 17th April.

Mike went on to say that “he was delighted to be part of this fundraiser because it was the only opportunity that all Joanne’s friends, colleagues and acquaintances got to show their appreciation for the great work that the Burns Unit had done for our friend Joanne after her accident”.

Before presenting the massive cheque of €209,976.62 to Odhran Shelly Joanne expressed her deepest appreciation to everybody for everything they have done for her and especially during this great “131 Days of Thanksgiving Fundraising”.

Joanne thoroughly endorsed everything that Liam and Mike had said. She thanked the committee and everybody who played a role in the process and said she would be forever very deeply indebted to everybody who contributed to the success of this great Thanksgiving Fundraiser.

Mike, her husband reiterated all the appreciation that was already acknowledged and thanked everybody for all their support and kindness.

Odhran Shelly was almost speechless with the size of the cheque and he went on to express his appreciation and that of his colleagues, Fiachra, Jamie and the Nurses present for the phenomenal display of generosity from the West Limerick, Limerick, Ireland and overseas contributions to the National Burns Unit, St. James’s Hospital. He said this amount of money was more than double the previous biggest community fundraising event. He continued to speak of the great patient that Joanne was and many of his plans for the use of the money. He said that “Joanne, Castlemahon and the people who contributed to this fundraiser will have a special place in the minds of the National Burns Unit Team forever”.

After numerous photographs, tea, coffee, confectionary, and a little drink the attendance were in celebratory mood and were entertained by music and dancing into the early hours.

“A Hundred Thousand Thanks To Everybody From The Joanne Team”