The RNLI Annual Presentation of Awards took place on Saturday (21 June) in the Ballroom of Farmleigh House in Phoenix Park. It was a special occasion as it also marked the 190th anniversary of the charity that saves lives at sea and on inland waters. The awards recognise fundraising and operational volunteers from across Ireland for their role in raising funds and awareness for the RNLI and in doing so supporting the volunteer lifeboat crews in their work.
Arklow RNLI was the winner of the RNLI branch award. Arklow fundraising branch is an extremely progressive, engaging and hardworking branch. The branch has a committee of very dedicated volunteers made up of a solid group of twelve. They never take no for an answer, and will take an idea and see it through to the end. They are innovative, creative and straight talking, yet engage warmly and with passion to the public when talking about the RNLI. The income from the branch in 2013 was €42,000 and the branch has a fantastic relationship with the lifeboat crew. Michael Mordant collected the award on behalf of the branch.
Jimmy Russell from Arklow RNLI fundraising branch received a Silver Badge. Jimmy has part of the Arklow fundraising branch for the past 35 years. He is an ex crewmember on the Arklow lifeboat and then he turned his talents to cooking to raise funds for the RNLI. He is the chef behind the infamous ‘Hurry to the Curry’ event which now raises over €10,000 each year. He is now involved with the Annual Golf classic and we are very grateful to Jimmy for all he does for Arklow RNLI.
Christy Gaffney from Arklow RNLI fundraising branch also received a Silver Badge. Christy has been involved with the RNLI in Arklow from his teenage years to the present day. He was chairman of the branch in the past and also held the volunteer position as Press officer as well as being station mechanic. He is held in high regard and to this day he is heavily involved in the preparation of the fish for the annual curry event in and in the Arklow Maritime Festival. Christy has been involved with Arklow RNLI for the past fifty years and is worthy of the institutions thanks.
Vincent McCarthy from Arklow RNLI fundraising branch received a Certificate of Thanks. Vincent has been a member of the Fundraising branch for fifteen years holding the positions of Chairman and also LPO at Arklow Station. He is readily available to help the branch at all fundraising events, and is never afraid to get his hands dirty.
Eva Sutton from Bray RNLI fundraising branch received a Silver Badge. Eva has been with the branch in excess of 30 years. She is a very active participant at branch meetings and will follow through by helping at the Christmas Fair, organising the table quiz, collecting on flag days, and also helping collecting at local supermarkets for Bray branch. Her long standing association with the branch, her continuing hard work and commitment is recognised by this award.
Mary Decourcy from Wicklow RNLI fundraising branch received a Bronze Badge. Mary has been a member of the Wicklow fundraising branch since 2000. She is currently chairman of the branch and is a fantastic innovator and organiser of events. She is constantly working for the RNLI and talks about it with a passion.
Evelyn Molloy from Bray RNLI fundraising branch received a Bronze Badge. Evelyn took over as treasurer two years ago in the Bray branch but has been a member for thirteen years. She attends all the meetings and also helps with flag days and in Mayday. She is very hard working and her commitment to the RNLI is beyond reproach.
Peg Lennox also from Bray RNLI fundraising branch received a Certificate of Thanks. Peg has had a long association with the RNLI in Dublin and she is now part of the Bray branch where she helps with Flag days and the Christmas Fair and more recently the May Day campaign. She is dedicated to the RNLI and makes a very valuable contribution.
During his speech RNLI Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease spoke of the awardees that were to be honoured during the ceremony, He said, ‘It all starts with the people who give their time, their donations and their expertise. Over the decades, as we have expanded our service and developed new craft and facilities; our volunteers, fundraisers and supporters have become more important than ever. Without them there is no lifeboat station, no lifeguard unit, no flood rescue team, and no coastal safety work preventing tragedies.’