Debbie O’Connor from Meelick, Co. Clare, along with the help of her friends and family, raised a staggering €15,813 for Fighting Blindness in 2013. This massive year of fundraising was topped off with a New Year’s Eve Ball held in the Clarion Hotel in Limerick, an event which Debbie says was a great success; “I am delighted with how the night went, everyone seemed to have a great time. I think it might turn into an annual event, I will have to make it bigger and better next year!”
Earlier in 2013 Debbie organised a number of bag-packs in Limerick and recruited over 30 people to take part in The Great Limerick Run in May. Some took part in the 10k, some in the half marathon and some in the full marathon, all running in aid of Fighting Blindness. At the presentation of the proceeds, which was held in Meelick on March 8 last, Debbie thanked Dunnes Stores for their hospitality, and all of the local businesses and individuals who donated spot prizes for the various events. She went on to thank one individual in particular who made a significant donation, but wished to remain anonymous. She also added that it was her hope to recruit a larger number to take part in the Great Limerick Run this year, and she plans to organise other events throughout the year as well.
Debbie says that she couldn’t have done all of this work without the support of her friends, family and local community; “People were so generous and were more than happy to donate to such a worthy cause. My friends and neighbours were more than happy to help when I told them about it.” She also recognised the efforts of students from St. Caimins Secondary School in Shannon who organised a sponsored walk and helped out with the bag packs.
Debbie first became aware of Fighting Blindness through family members who are affected by sight loss and who have supported the organisation for years. She explained that she decided to raise funds to help support research into conditions causing sight loss; “I think the research is the most important because that’s how the cures are found, if it can’t help to restore someone’s sight it could help to save another person from becoming blind.”
Michael Ryan, Community Fundraising Officer commented on the outstanding work that Debbie does for Fighting Blindness; “Debbie is truly an inspirational young women and it has been a pleasure to work with her over the past twelve months. We in Fighting Blindness cannot overstate the impact Debbie and her family have had on us, both from a fundraising and awareness point of view”.
Thank you Debbie for all your amazing work, from everyone in Fighting Blindness!