Since our inception in 2006, where we raised €1,000.00 for Bothar, Tara Vale Swimmers have now collected over €232,750.00 for various charities (2023). Starting out with a very small number of volunteers, with no idea of what they were beginning, the group have grown from strength to strength. In fact, the swim started a while before 2006.
At a New Year’s Eve party in one of the member’s house, fuelled by a few “lemonades” one of the party suggested that “we” should go for a midday swim the next day. We went. On the following New Year’s Eve, a local man went about the Tara Vale pub with his hat collecting donations for a swim on the following day. He collected about €100.00 (not part of our official receipts).
So, in 2006, we decided to formalise our charity work. Our first charity was Bothar, who have, over the years, received an impressive €35,000.00 from our endeavours. In more recent years, we have switched our attention to local charities and no more so than Jack & Jill Foundation. We are proud to realise that we have now raised about €71,000.00 for Jack & Jill. All this money stays in the Wexford locality.
Other charities sponsored include St. Aidan’s Services, North Wexford Hospice, St. Patrick’s Special School, Rosslare Harbour Friends of Ukraine, Haiti Disaster, RNLI and some small gifts to other local groups.
AS a small close-knit community, we are always welcome to new members, always open to new suggestions and recommendations and ALWAYS open to new donations. We hold a number of fund raising events during the year, including a golf classic in Ballymoney Golf Course, fund raising in Gorey Shopping Centre, hampers for raffles and anything else that might bring in money. Big Nick’s shave brought in an incredible amount of money in 2023.
We hope to keep our organisation going into the future and, as we get older, hope that there will be others to follow in our footsteps. There is no such thing as a bad charity and they all need our support.
As a special thank you, Tara vale Swimmers made a presentation to Sam Kennedy. Sam, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Courtown, has been a supporter of our group since we started. Together, with his dedicated crew, he has kept us safe over the years. After an incredible 37 years of voluntary service, Tara Vale Swimmers wish Sam, as many others do, many years of healthy and happy retirement.
Unfortunately, Sam wasn’t able to be with us on the night to accept the presentation, his colleague, Niamh, accepted the presentation on his behalf.