Official opening of new charity store with a difference

There’s another boutique store for Clonmel and Tipperary fashionistas to check out with the recent opening of the Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) charity store at Unit 15, Marystone Centre, Clonmel.

There’s another boutique store for Clonmel and Tipperary fashionistas to check out with the recent opening of the Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) charity store at Unit 15, Marystone Centre, Clonmel.

Operating since last Friday, the store will be officially opened by the Mayor of Clonmel, Cllr. Billy Shoer at 6pm on this Thursday, 16th, followed by a fundraising evening in the Clonmel Park Hotel at 8pm.

The charity recently held a donation day but the donations didn’t stop there. “Now that we are visibly present in the centre of Clonmel, people are still bringing us in some fantastic donations for the store”, says Breeda Clancy, AADI director of fundraising.

“We really wanted this to be a charity shop with a difference and we think the clothes, bags, shoes and accessories that we have on display may really surprise people. You could find anything from top designers such as Betty Jackson to high street names like Apricot, Wallis and Vila so it’s well worth coming in to find a bargain, there’s something for everyone”, says Breeda.

Tipperary showed massive support for AADI last October when €9,000 was raised when Teresa organised a 10km charity mini marathon. The groundswell of support in the Premier County was enough for AADI to evaluate whether or not it should open a second charity shop in the town.

“Clonmel has a tradition of supporting charity ventures and it’s great to see AADI’s hard work not only resulting in a new store opening in our town, but also marking the charity’s expansion as they open their new shop,” says Teresa Burke, whose 5 year-old son Evan received Charlie, his assistance dog from AADI.

This latest development is a testament to the support of all those who constantly fundraise for the charity to ensure they can continue to train dogs to the highest of standards to assist autistic children.

The running of the Clonmel shop and co-ordinating of volunteers for the new store will be co-ordinated by Teresa Burke, who is also an AADI board member. “I have seen first hand the changes Charlie has brought to Evan’s and indeed our family life”, says Teresa. “I’m delighted to be able to do anything to help another family like ours to receive the gift of an assistance dog”.

Training manager Nuala Geraghty feels the charity shop is just the latest way to keep funding AADI’s work “We are not Government funded and therefore depend hugely on fundraising to maintain the charity’s operations. It costs €15,000 to train one dog when food, veterinary bills and housing are taken into account. We hope that our store will provide the charity with another revenue stream to ensure we can continue to change the lives of children and families dealing with autism”.

Efforts to raise more money for the charity will begin immediately. “We want to put the ‘fun’ into fundraising”, jokes Teresa. “Everyone is welcome to join us after the official opening at the Clonmel Park Hotel for an evening of bingo, hosted by Tipp FM DJ Aidan Mac ,followed by an 80s themed disco”.

Bingo books cost €10 for 5 games and can be purchased directly from Teresa on 086-7879533 or through the Clonmel Park Hotel.

For any queries about donations, please contact AADI on 022-43851. You can also keep up to date with AADI on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @autismdogsirl and check out their website at www.aadi.ie