The annual Milford Hospice Harvest Fair will take place on August 14th this year on the grounds of the University of Limerick.
Now in the 31st year, the Fair is a major fundraising event with up to 20,000 attendees expected from across Counties Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary.
As one of the biggest fundraisers’ in the Care Centre’s annual calendar the organisers, of the 2016 Harvest Fair have said that this year’s event will be one of the most crucial to-date, given the expected commencement of the new Mid-West Hospice development in the latter quarter of this year.
Speaking at the launch of the event on the grounds where the new Hospice will be located, Joe Murphy, Chairperson of Milford Care Centre’s Harvest Fair Committee said: “For this reason, the generous support from the people of the Mid West is all the more important in 2016, so hopefully we will have as many of you as possible at the Fair on the 14th August on the grounds of the University of Limerick for what promises to be a great day out for all.
This year’s event will have a more traditional flavour with the return of the Books, Toys and Fancy Good stalls which could not feature in 2015 due to logistical reasons with building works taking place at the UL Arena. We are looking forward to seeing the return of these popular stalls as they are a great attraction for many of our supporters and were badly missed last year. Sometimes we forget how popular everyday goods such as books and household items can be and of course it’s a way of freeing your home of once new and loved items, whilst making room for new purchases at the Fair”.
Launching the Harvest Fair former Irish Rugby Union and Munster player Jerry Flannery, appealed to the public to continue their support for the Harvest Fair and said “that Milford Care Centre provides vital services throughout Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary. A lot of credit goes to the staff in the Hospice Unit at Milford and the Hospice at Home Teams from across the three Counties, who do tremendous work in the community. Now with the new hospice build on the horizon we must all do our bit to continue to support Milford and the services provided”.
Described as the annual social and fundraising showcase that helps to support the continuation and development of much needed specialist hospice services, Chief Executive, Pat Quinlan explained; “proceeds from the Harvest Fair will go towards supporting existing hospice services and the building of a new 34 bed €11 million state of the art hospice, which is expected to commence in late September 2016. All going well, the new facility is expected to be operational before the end of 2017, the year that will mark 40 years of Hospice Care at Milford and the Mid West. .
As things stand the sum of €7m has been committed towards the Project, which leaves a shortfall of some €4m and this has to be raised over the next four years. The Centre has applied to the HSE for a capital grant of €1.8m and is awaiting a decision. If approved, this will reduce the fundraising requirement to €2.2m or €550k per annum.
However, it is important to highlight that this amount is in addition to the already €1.5m annual requirement needed to meet the shortfall in the Hospice’s operation budget so we now have a target of at least €2m to achieve over the next four years. On completion the new Hospice will provide all single occupancy rooms for patients and there will also be additional family overnight accommodation facilities.
This is both a challenging and exciting time for our services, but we are doing this expansion as we firmly believe that it will greatly enhance our quality of care for patients and their families and ensure that they will be able to access our services into the future, as and when required,” he added.
The organisers confirmed that they are seeking donations of good quality items such as Books, Toys, Bric a Brac and Fancy Goods for the stalls which can be accepted from Tuesday the 2nd of August until Thursday 11th August and there will be direction signs to the drop off bays located at Milford Care Centre. There is also an appeal for donations of new and unused items for the perennial favourite The Wheel of Fortune.