What a great climax to 2019!! The opening of the new CRY (Ireland) Centre on November 28th, 2019, was a cause for great celebration, and deep reflection. The project demanded a significant step up for the organisation’s fundraising and project management skills. Raising €880,000 and building the centre at the same time was a huge call on the organisation’s commitment, energy and pure grit determination; and the whole organisation rose to the occasion.
Our staff were in business-as-usual mode, screening and assessing, while simultaneously sharing the burden of fundraising and planning with the Board. The CRY team of staff, board, volunteers and families have created a magnificent, purpose built, state of the art Centre, facilitating free cardiac screening, testing and support to individuals and families who have lost loved ones to Sudden Cardiac Death, or are affected by inherited cardiac conditions.
And the partnership with Tallaght University Hospital and the HSE was a paradigm of best practice in public/private partnership building. Speaking at the opening of the new centre, Minister for Health, Simon Harris ,TD, said: “ It is fantastic to see a unique public and private partnership with the Department of Health, CRY Ireland and Tallaght University Hospital for such an important and worthy cause. The opening of this new cardiac screening centre will deliver a much needed, modern facility to support families who have been affected by Sudden Cardiac Death.”
A big, big THANK YOU to everyone – too many to mention-who contributed in any way.
2019 was also an exceptional year in PR terms, with copious coverage in all the national and regional newspapers, TV and radio. Our engagement with the media included national and local coverage and interviews with Board, staff members as well as countless stories of the efforts of families across the country who remembered their deceased young family members through commemorative and fundraising events of all sorts. These were augmented by centralised events such as the Pure Style Fashion Show (which again was a “sold out” event) the friends and families who join us for the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon and the annual CRY Camino Walk, led this year by our Ambassador and Kerry football legend, Aidan O ’Mahony.
We were delighted to add several new Ambassadors to our Ambassador team, each of them lending their profile to help highlight the work of CRY (Ireland). Our Ambassadors are; Jacqui Hurley, Allen Leech, Brendan Courtney, Lena Tice, Lucy Mulhall, Michael Lowry, Aaron Gillane, Aidan O’Mahony and Andrew Scott.
2020 beckons, and the hectic pace of development from 2019 will be maintained. As the new team settles into the new Centre, the organisation will focus on reviewing how our Family Support Programme can be improved. And we will seek to develop and maintain closer contact and support with our growing numbers of families and communities, north and south, who wish to be part of the mutual support environment which they find in the CRY community.
We look forward to strengthening and deepening our engagement with all our stakeholders in 2020, and wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful new year.
Tommy Fegan, Chairman CRY (Ireland)