Michael O'Brien, president of Clonmel Lions Club, presents the proceeds of the club's recent fundraiser to Yvonne McClintock, who accepted the cheque on behalf of the Clonmel branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA). Also included are Sinead Carroll and Sandra Craig White (RDA) and Michael O'Riordan and Snezana Petrovska, in whose garden the fundraiser was held.
Clonmel Lions Club and Clonmel Riding for the Disabled (RDA), recently joined forces in organising a very special fundraising event at Petrovska Gardens in Kilganey, on the outskirts of Clonmel.
The event was to raise not only much-needed funds for Riding for the Disabled but also to raise awareness of the work that this committee does week in, week out for people with special physical and intellectual needs.
By giving people the opportunity to experience horse riding under specialised tutelage they get to try an activity that would have been impossible and inaccessible in the past.
Committee members and volunteers in that organisation are totally dedicated and their hard work and commitment keeps the service going almost all year round. The benefits far outweigh the obstacles and to see the obvious enjoyment of the pupils, both children and adults, makes it all very worthwhile.
On the day of the event the community came out in force and the numbers visiting the garden surpassed all expectations.
Thanks in no small way to the sunny weather, a steady stream of well-wishers and supporters made their way through the seven acres of woodland garden and, for first-time visitors especially, their reaction was one of pure amazement and wonder.
Owners Michael O'Riordan and Snezana Petrovska-O'Riordan gave guided tours and were only too delighted to give insights and background to their project. Like all gardeners, they love to showcase their work.
The day was made even more special by some beautiful live music provided by the group Stranger Things and thanks are extended to Rebecca, Stephen and Twiggy for the entertainment.
A unique aspect of the garden tour this year was the introduction of the Fairy Garden. The intricate work which went into making these special fairy doors was down to the Clonmel branch of the Men's Shed, who apparently hold the magic blueprint for these doors opening up children's imaginations and worlds of wonder! This was a huge success with the younger visitors.
Kilkenny author, Shirley Lanigan, launched her very interesting and informative new book on the Open Gardens of Ireland, which features Petrovska Garden.
The event was a huge success and thanks are due to everyone who supported the day, including the public who came out in such large numbers; the local media, who gave the event great coverage and exposure; all the local shopkeepers who gave valuable window space for the posters; and especially Michael and Snezana for their continued support by opening up their garden and making it available for this very special and worthy cause.