Entrepreneur and TV presenter Suzanne Jackson is joining forces with Cliona’s Foundation to host its very first Christmas Gala Ball in Dublin’s Marker Hotel.
The event is sponsored by Huawei which means that all proceeds from ticket sales will go directly toward helping Cliona’s families.
The event, set to take place on 7th December, aims to raise funds for Cliona’s Foundation – the goal on the night is to raise €50,000 which will benefit up to 20 families. Cliona’s Foundation is a national charity providing financial assistance directly to parents of children with life-limiting or chronic complex care needs across Ireland to help with the non-medical expenses related to caring for their child. Since 2008 the foundation has provided financial assistance to over 1,300 families, with 253 in Dublin alone.
The foundation was set up by Brendan and Terry Ring, following the death of their daughter Cliona, from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006 aged 15. Over the years, as Cliona underwent numerous different hospital treatments, Brendan and Terry were struck by the number of families, facing enormous financial hardship, on the brink of financial free-fall, blindsided by non-medical expenses piling up. They saw at first-hand the enormous toll it took on these families, already struggling to cope with the nightmare of having a seriously ill child. They decided to act and set up Cliona’s Foundation, in honour of their daughter.
Speaking about the importance of fundraising events for the organisation, Cliona’s Co-Founder and CEO Brendan Ring said: “So many families with sick children experienced, and continue to experience, the significant non-medical costs of caring for a child with a life-limiting condition. We are incredibly grateful to Suzanne for her support again this year and her help in ensuring the Gala’s success. We are also very grateful to Huawei who have sponsored the gala. Families need help, we have seen a 59% increase in applications from the same period last year and they need support more than ever, Cliona’s is proud to play our part in helping out families in need.”
Calvin Lan, CEO, Huawei Ireland commented: “Huawei is proud to sponsor the inaugural Cliona’s Foundation Christmas Gala Ball. We are Huawei is pleased to support this small charity, which has no large fundraising machine, to help it raise much-needed funds to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. Through our sponsorship, we hope to raise awareness of the incredible work carried out by Cliona’s Foundation and we encourage others to join us in supporting their vital services. Huawei’s sponsorship of this Gala Ball shows our dedication to supporting causes that matter and, by doing so, building a stronger, more caring community. The Foundation carries out such great work and is deserving of all the help it can get.”
Last Christmas, Suzanne Jackson donated her time and support to Cliona’s when she voiced the guided meditations and became the official ambassador for Cliona’s and Rory the Owl. Through Suzanne’s help Rory sold out in Dunnes Stores nationwide and online which resulted in €80,000 raised for Cliona’s.
Speaking of her reason for getting involved with Cliona’s again, Suzanne said “I was honoured to be asked to be an ambassador for Cliona’s Foundation. The foundation is a wonderful charity who provide financial support for families who are caring for a child with a life-limiting illness. I’m thrilled to be hosting this event which we aim to make as successful as Rory was last Christmas. I am looking forward to sharing more details with my audience so that together we can support a worthy and meaningful cause and raise much needed awareness”.
A recent survey conducted by Cliona’s shows how families with sick children are often disproportionately affected by situations out of their control, such as rapidly increasing living costs. These are parents who are in a living nightmare and the last thing they should have to worry about are bills. Cliona’s survey found that in 70% of families, at least one parent must give up their jobs to care for their sick child leaving them struggling to cope. Studies have highlighted that a family will need between €10,000 and €15,000 a year to cover various non-medical costs while their child is ill.
Cliona’s Foundation expects at least 200 families will apply for financial assistance this year and will need to raise a minimum of €500,000 to meet these applications. To learn more and to help please visit www.clionas.ie or tune in to the two-part documentary “Ireland’s Forgotten Families” which is readily available on their website.
PHOTO – SIMON PEARE
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