The annual Milford Care Centre Harvest Fair has, like all other public events, fallen victim to the restrictions of an unprecedented pandemic and has been cancelled this year for the first time in its 35-year history.
In keeping with Government guidelines, plans to hold the Fair on Sunday, 30th August have been put on ice, with no clear idea at this point as to what might happen for this event in 2021.
Making the announcement, Milford Care Centre Chief Executive Pat Quinlan: “Whilst is it very disappointing to have to cancel the Harvest Fair this year, it is the obvious decision given that we are living through a worldwide pandemic. We have taken account of Government regulations and Public Health requirements and given that the protection of human health is at the heart of everything we do, we are left with no choice in this matter.
“The Harvest Fair has evolved down through the years and has grown from strength to strength, thanks to the wonderful work of the organising committee, led by Joe Murphy, and the large team of committed volunteers that work tirelessly to prepare for and run this day-long Fair. Similarly, this event has always been so well supported by communities across the Mid-West and has been firmly enshrined into the calendar of annual significant fundraising events in the Mid-West so whilst, no doubt, people may not be surprised they are likely to be disappointed with this news”
Encouraging all fans of the Harvest Fair throughout the Mid-West region to continue supporting Milford Care Centre, Mr Quinlan added: “Fundraising is a very important element of our work as all the monies raised go towards the provision of much-needed specialist hospice services that we provide across Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary.
“Our fundraising department, led by Anne Marie Hayes, is tirelessly working behind the scenes to find innovative solutions to replace the funding we normally secure through live events. Our ‘Walk from a Distance’ Memorial Walk held in May was tremendously successful and united people at home and abroad in so many ways.
“Our thanks also go to the Limerick Hurlers for organising the ‘Hit the Woah for Milford Hospice’; that brought smiles to a lot of faces. The Annual National Sunflower Day, where all the funds raised local stays local, was due to take place on Friday, 5th and Saturday, 6th June so we are now appealing for people to support this virtually.
“The one ray of hope we are still holding on to is that we might be able to hold our annual coffee morning, as part of Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning together with Bewley’s, on Thursday, 24th September; this is a very important fundraising event for us.
“As with all charities that are finding these times very challenging, we would encourage the public to support our work in whatever way they can, by doing some form of fun-filled collaborative virtual activity; that could be a head shave or a virtual run. We would appeal to Sporting Clubs to get their members out supporting a charity and to think of Milford when doing so. The Limerick hurlers have set down the challenge in their very innovative fundraiser,” added Mr Quinlan.
“The rapid onset of COVID-19 has also been very challenging from a service delivery perspective but nonetheless, we remain committed to continuing to provide the best care that we can to support patients and their families at a most difficult time in their lives, because they deserve no less. The ongoing generous support we receive from the people of the Mid West is essential to help us do what we do each day, we don’t take this for granted and we are extremely grateful for same,” he added.
Milford Care Centre has also announced that its Hospice shop, which has been on Thomas Street since September 2013 , has permanently closed as the lease has come to its natural end and due to COVID-19 restrictions will not be renewed. The Board, Executive and staff at Milford Care Centre extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who visited and supported the shop over the last seven years.
“We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable input of the many volunteers who have given so freely of their time working in the Shop down through the years and to thank them for same,” stated Mr Quinlan
“With new challenges come new opportunities and we have to remain positive that we will meet the challenges ahead so thank you all for your ongoing support,” Mr Quinlan added.