James Shivnan, president of the Rotary Club of Athlone wishes to thank all those who contributed to making the Rotary Club’s Tree of Remembrance such a success over Christmas. Some €12,000 has been raised, with the money going to three local charities.
Charities to benefit from the Rotary Club are: the South Westmeath Hospice, the Midlands Simon Community, and the Athlone Society of St Vincent de Paul. All three charities work closely with people living in the local community and will put these funds raised by the Tree of Remembrance project to very good use.
Billy Nott, coordinator of the project in the Rotary Club thanks all of the donors who wrote the name of a loved one on a ribbon and made a donation to benefit the charities. The memories of those named on the ribbons and placed on the Tree of Remembrance were commemorated at an ecumenical service on Christmas Eve.
Mr Nott has also said that the project would not have been possible without the collection points made available by the Athlone Towncentre and Dunnes Stores in Irishtown and Montree. Athlone Town Council, town engineer Alan Kelly, and his engineering staff were also a great help.
Speaking at the announcement of the donations Mr Shivnan said, “We surpassed the €3,500 that was donated last year, largely because people are more familiar with what we are doing with our Tree of Remembrance project and because we had more collection locations this year. Crucially, the weather was much kinder than last year, both to everyone going about their Christmas shopping and to our volunteers at the collection points.”
The Rotary Club is already looking forward to running the Tree of Remembrance project next Christmas and to it becoming a fixture on Athlone town’s Christmas calendar.