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Red Sea Holidays / ITTN Auction Prize Helps East Coast fm Coffee Morning Raise €60,000+ for Charity

Red Sea Holidays / ITTN Auction Prize Helps East Coast fm Coffee Morning Raise €60,000+ for Charity

A prize of a holiday for two donated by Red Sea Holidays Ireland and Irish Travel Trade News was auctioned on East Coast fm last Friday and brought the total for this year’s Coffee Morning for Charity event over the €60,000 mark for five cancer support centres and the Wicklow Hospice Foundation.

Above, Niall McDonnell, General Manager, Red Sea Holidays Ireland; Claire Darmody, Organiser, East Coast fm Wicklow Wide Coffee Morning; Neil Steedman, News & Features Editor, Irish Travel Trade News; and Shane Byrne, Presenter, The Morning Show, display the final cheque for €60,324.38 (photo: Paul Messitt Photography).

When Red Sea Holidays Ireland held a lunch for travel media to launch this year’s inaugural ex-Dublin Sharm el Sheikh programme, Niall McDonnell held a raffle with the winning journalist being asked to nominate a charity. The prize was a holiday for two with seven nights B&B accommodation at the 4-star Ghazala Beach Hotel.

ITTN’s Neil Steedman won the raffle and, as he lives in Arklow, Co Wicklow, nominated East Coast fm’s Coffee Morning for Charity.

Claire Darmody, Senior Producer of The Morning Show and Coffee Morning Organiser, said: “The East Coast fm Wicklow Wide Coffee Morning raises money for five cancer support centres and the Wicklow Hospice Foundation – these charities are local and provide vital and practical services for people suffering with cancer and their families.

“This year was our seventh year and in the previous six years we had cumulatively raised over €208,000. The yearly figure has grown annually because, as well as our 11 main venues, we have added bag packs across the county and a major table quiz, and we also really encourage our listeners to take part by running their own events.

“The unique aspect of the event is that as well as raising awareness, money and providing multiple community and fun events for the people of Wicklow to attend, nobody passes on any costs to us. I organise the venues, balloons, tea, coffee, sound equipment, transport, celebrities, posters and reporters for free and Wicklow people and businesses donate their time, products and talent for free – and therefore every single cent has been passed on to the charities.

“This year we had hoped to raise €42,000 to bring us up to €250,000 overall, as this would have been a fantastic achievement for the county. However, with the help of our listeners we ran over 50 events across the county over the weekend of 17th-19th April and the 2015 coffee morning events raised over €59,000, which was a record and way above our target.

“But of course we were then eager to bring that figure up to €60,000 and I had exhausted all ideas on how to do so! So when you told me that you were donating a holiday for two prize from Red Sea Holidays to auction I was so delighted. We auctioned it on air over the week and it brought our final total to €60,324.38.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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