12 September 2021
First, I would like to say that I am honoured to be nominated for President 2021/2022.
As we all know, this organization has great potential and has added so much to our communities, locally, nationally, and internationally in its various initiatives over the years. At the club level, there have been many great initiatives that I have experienced since becoming a member such as the girl’s Public Speaking Competition, the great work done by the meals on wheels initiative, and various fundraising events.
This past year has been an extraordinary year where we all dealt with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. We spent much time apart. There were difficult times for everybody. We grappled with new technologies so we could try and stay connected.
So, this year, as we start to meet in person again, I would like us to appreciate our time together by Living our Soroptimist Values in everything we do, every day. Let’s Be Kind to each other, Be Engaged with each other, and most importantly Enjoy our Time together!
With that in mind, I would like my tenure to focus on bringing us all back together in friendship after a tough year apart, retain and celebrate our existing friendships and build new ones.
Our National Project in 2021 focuses on environmental protection. As a club, in keeping with our theme of Living our Soroptimist Values, I believe we can also Live our Environmental Values. So, I have asked club members to pick one object once a month that we could do differently in our daily lives that would have an impact on the environment, for the better. No matter how small or large. It could be something as simple as half filling the kettle or using tea leaves instead of teabags! There are so many little things we can do on a daily basis that may seem trivial and of no consequence but together we can all make a difference to reduce our impact on the environment.
This year I am delighted that we have chosen to partner with a charity called Cliona’s Foundation. Cliona’s Foundation is the only charity that provides nationwide direct financial assistance to families to help with the multiple non-medical costs of caring for a seriously sick child. The Foundation was founded by Brendan & Terry Ring following the death of their own daughter Cliona at 15 following 8 years of treatment for an inoperable brain tumor. Right now, there are 4,000 children batting with a life-limiting illness in Ireland. 400 of these will die this year. Parents of these 4,000 children are away from home for long periods of time while they care for their children – paying for accommodation, food, transport, car parking, childminders are having to purchase specialized equipment. Non-medical expenses particularly for parents outside Dublin who have to travel to visit their child in hospital can run to as much as €160 per day. Funds raised by Cliona’s Foundation are not used to pay for the child’s medical care, rather donations are made to help with the “hidden” costs of caring.
For those interested in learning more about Cliona’s Foundation click on the link below
This is particularly personal to me because this charity supported my sister and her family when their son, my nephew, Robert, was diagnosed as suffering from septicemia and meningitis shortly after he was born. At the beginning of his life, Robert had to spend many months in hospital. This traumatic time put a strain on my sister’s family as it does all families caring for a very sick child in hospital. The support from Cliona’s helps reduce this financial stress and lets the family focus on caring for their seriously sick child.
It is my hope, that we can hold an evening event in February 2022 in the K Club, Co. Kildare to raise awareness of the fantastic work that Cliona’s do and to raise funds for the foundation. In addition to raising awareness and funds for a well-deserved cause, a gala evening would have the added benefit of allowing us all to come together once again, to celebrate and enjoy our friendships and say goodbye to the uncertainty and more difficult times of the past year.
If you are interested in hearing more about what we do or would like to join us for a meeting, please go to “Contact” at the top of the page.