An 18 year-old Clonmel student described as “an outstanding volunteer” has also been praised by Irish soccer manager Martin O’Neill.
Aine Stafford from Ashgrove Drive, Ballingarrane, a Sixth Year student at Loreto Secondary School, has been honoured at the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
Aine and 19 other finalists received €500 for the charity of their choice and an engraved silver medallion.
“We need to celebrate our young people today to inspire them into being leaders of tomorrow,” said Martin O’Neill. “We salute Aine and the other finalists in this programme for helping those in need.”
Daughter of Mary and Kieran Stafford, Aine fundraises for cystic fibrosis and volunteers for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
“I have lived with cystic fibrosis for 18 years but I believe nothing should hold anyone back,” says Aine.
The money she raised in the competition will be given to the new cystic fibrosis facilities at Waterford Regional Hospital.
Aine also set up the St. Julia conference in her school for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. After raising €4,000 for the charity, she continues her legacy of giving by mentoring her peers on how to continue her work.
Last year she travelled to Lourdes as a volunteer. While there she looked after sick pilgrims and transported them to and from Mass. Aine also helps connect older people with their families abroad by teaching them basic computer skills, how to use Skype and how to send e-mail.
Máire McMahon, national secretary of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, said “Without the work and effort of the St. Julia Conference I can say for certain there would have been families in Clonmel who would not have had a memorable Christmas.”
Senior managing director and CEO of Pramerica Systems Ireland Ltd, Caroline Faulkner, described the evening as one of joyous momentum. “The stars tonight were our 20 finalists.
Congratulations to Aine who has shown tremendous maturity in being an outstanding volunteer”.