Chairperson of the Friends of Bridgewater House & Knocklofty Rural Day Service has asked members of the public to continue supporting local charities, and the local people who can be trusted to fundraise for them.
George Hogg, who has been fundraising for the past six years for Bridgewater House and Knocklofty Rural Day service, both under the auspices of Rehab, said that he wanted to reassure the public that all the money he raises for the centres, stays local.
Each year Mr Hogg, whose son Chris, aged 27, attends the farming-focussed, Knocklofty Rural Day Service, fundraises to cover costs for a two-night respite break for the 45 service users of both centres, as well as a Christmas party in December.
Without his efforts, and support of the public, these hugely valuable social outlets would simply not be possible.
He said he felt ‘gutted’ at recent revelations about charity CEOs’ salaries, low profits yielded by Rehab’s scratch card scheme, and feels Rehab CEO Angela Kerins should reveal her salary.
“I am gutted, this is going to affect the likes of me, because people might be thinking that I get something from it.
“Every penny I collect stays in Clonmel, none of it goes to Dublin,” he said.
He said the only expense that is incurred occasionally is printing costs of tickets or posters. But this is minimal, costing about €200.
He said if people support local charities, they know that this money will stay local.
“Some charities are paying collectors, and we don’t know how much is going to charity. For every euro they collect, we don’t know how much goes back to the charity,” he said. Mr Hogg said he wanted to thank people in Clonmel, and everyone, who has supported him in the past. Last year he raised €5,300 and this support enabled him to organise a two night stay at the Maldron Hotel in Cork, for the service users.
“They went go-karting, sumo wrestling, and there were beauty treatments for the ladies.
“Then they had a Christmas party which is one night they all look forward to. They get all dressed up, it is their big social event of the year.”
Already the thinking caps are on for 2014’s respite break. Not only are these breaks beneficial for the service users, but for the parents aswell.
“Often it is the only holiday that the parents get too,” said Mr Hogg.
In addition to the regular fudraising efforts, Mr Hogg said he is hoping to help raise money to purchase a new bus for the service users.
“One of the three buses they have is on its last legs at the moment, it cost €16,000 for repairs last year,” he said.
Mr Hogg’s son was the first person in Ireland diagnosed with Kabuki Syndrome, a rare congenital condition.
Chris attends Knocklofty Day Service and returns home again each evening.