An astounding €240,000 has so far been fundraised for the Ben and Jake Connolly Trust, to build a medically adapted house for the two severely handicapped brothers Ben and Jake.
With the sad passing of Jake last January, the registered trust's volunteer members are stressing the urgency of finishing the house in Jake's name and for Ben to get to live in.
“Our goal is to have the house ready for occupation by June 2017 but we dearly hope that an earlier date can be achieved. It can only become a reality if we raise sufficient funds, we still need approx €150,000, plus ongoing expenses for the Connolly family,” trust member Joe McEvoy explained.
The house is halfway up.
“A site was donated by a generous donor locally, Work started in April but due to site conditions, block work did not start until June. It is almost complete and roof trusses have been ordered. We hope to have the house roofed and sealed with windows and doors by the end of November,” said Mr McEvoy.
Thanking the suppliers who have offered goods or labour free or at reduced rates, he is now asking for registered plastering and electrical contractors to do what they can for the next stage.
Fundraising slowed this year, with €35,000 raised so far this year, conpared to €100,000 in 2015.
Among the many fundraisers who helped are mini marathon participants and Irish dancers, as well as direct donors.
Upcoming events include Bernard Weldon running in the Dublin City marathon, and the fundraising committee's Christmas draw, tickets on sale in October.
“All of the funds have been raised through the generosity of people both locally and nationally, without whom we could not have reached the figure of €240k,” Mr McEvoy said.
The house will be a passive house, which is cheaper to heat and maintain. It will be equipped with all the medical needs for severely disabled persons, for other children in th efuture. To fundraise or offer help, email benandjakeconnolly@ gmail.com or call Joe at 087-2911440.