Joe Browne, founder of the Cystic Fibrosis charity Build4Life, has been named the Santa Rita 120 Local Hero of the Year 2011 for his phenomenal fundraising efforts to build a Cystic Fibrosis Unit at Cork University Hospital.

The Santa Rita 120 Local Hero of the Year competition is run by the premium Chilean winemakers to find local heroes who make a real difference in their local community, such as a hard working volunteer who makes things happen or an inspirational individual who always seems to put others before themselves. The campaign is a global initiative run in a number of countries and this is the second year it has taken place in Ireland.Four other incredible individuals were also shortlisted for the Santa Rita 120 Local Hero

Award.  Michael & Marie Greene, Founders and Trustees of CRY were shortlisted for the award along with Noel O’Callaghan from Mullingar, Michael Martin from Cork and Alice Leahy from Dublin. All of the finalists are pictured above. 

The Santa Rita 120 Local Hero Competition was devised to acknowledge the shared link of heroism, bravery and goodwill between Chile and Ireland. The Santa Rita 120 label, one of a wonderful range of wines from Santa Rita, pays homage to the 120 brave Chilean men led by Irishman Bernardo O’Higgins who found refuge in the cellars of Santa Rita while fighting for independence in 1814. Bernardo, who’s father was from Sligo, later went on to become the first head of the Chilean independent republic. In fact, Chile recently celebrated the country’s Bicentenary (1810 – 2010) of the start of their fight for independence. 

Terry Pennington Commercial Director UK and Ireland of the Santa Rita Wine Group, said at the recent awards ceremony held in Dublin;“We were overwhelmed by the amount of wonderful nominations that we received for the Santa Rita 120 Local Hero Competition this year. Over 200 people from all over the country were nominated for the work they do in their local community and it was heartwarming to read and share all of their stories.”  “It was very difficult to choose a shortlist of five and even more difficult to choose just one winner. Joe Browne is a truly inspirational individual who has achieved so much in such a short space of time and he is truly deserving of this honour.  

Michael and Marie were delighted to be nominated and shortlisted and spoke at the event of the work of CRY and the Centre based in Tallaght Hospital, Dublin 24.