Real Christmas trees are sold for charity each year by Laois Hospice and the Portlaoise Lions Club
Laois Hospice and the Portlaoise Lions Club have announced that due to Covid 19 restrictions, the proposed Christmas tree sale has had to be rescheduled (details at end of story).
In announcing the changes, the groups have also taken the opportunity to renew their appeal to the public to show their support for the fundraiser which helps to pay for vital local services.
The Lions and the Hospice say they appreciate the public's support for the Christmas Tree sale which has raised funds for many projects supported by both charities over the years.
One of the big projects backed this year is €8,000 to the development of a family room at the end of life facility in Portlaoise hospital.
Seán Cruise, Secretary, Portlaoise Lions Club, appealed to people for support. He also outlined who the funds raised are invested back into the local community.
"2020 has been a very difficult year for Portlaoise Lions Club, as many of our annual fundraising events had to be cancelled. Despite this, with the wonderful support of the business community in Portlaoise, we will endeavour to help as many of those in need as we possibly can," he said.
The Lions Club has sold trees for the last 30 years. The original venue was the Macra Hall on the Well Road. They moved to Centrepoint by kind permission of Shaws when the shopping centre closed circa 2007.
"The trees sold at Christmas are either bought from local producers or sourced from Shaen hospital lands. The bulk of the proceeds of the sale of trees will go to the Laois Hospice. A proportion of the proceeds goes into the purchase of vouchers to provide food and clothing primarily to local families and individuals in need at Christmas, and throughout the year.
"We respond throughout the year to appeals from local groups for funding for worthy causes. This year, we will contribute over €8,000 to the development of a family room at the end of life facility in Portlaoise hospital. The unveiling of this facility has been delayed by the pandemic, but will include a space where families can spend some time with their family members who are terminally ill.
"This year we were unable to host our annual holiday to Trabolgan. This initiative of Lions clubs all over Ireland, allows each club to take elderly and disabled people for a week-long holiday in Trabolgan, where they have nice accommodation with access to walks and sporting activities by day and can dine in the dining hall and enjoy a drink and musical evenings.
"The camp is staffed by Lions club members who volunteer to ensure a safe and enjoyable week. This initiative is hugely popular and keenly anticipated each year," said the secretary.
Seamus O'Donoghue is Chairman of Laois Hospice. He thanked the Lions Club and the public for the support they give each year through the sale of trees for the provision of hospice services in Laois.
"Since the inception of the Christmas tree sale, the committee of Laois Hospice have been extremely appreciative of the wonderful efforts of Portlaoise Lions club for the benefit of all the people of Laois who have used the hospice service, especially those who are no longer with us. It is very gratifying this year, especially with the very challenging environment that we have to endure, that the Christmas tree sale will still be held.
"May I take this opportunity to thank all the people of Laois who have supported this project over the years by purchasing a tree and ensuring that much-needed support is given to assist in the continued provision of the Laois hospice service. My sincere thanks to the Portlaoise Lions Club, and to all the wonderful volunteers who give of their time every year," he said.
The sale will now take place at KWS Complex Timahoe Road, Portlaoise on the following dates:
Tuesday, December 1 to Sunday, December 6 inclusive, and Wednesday, December 9 to Sunday, December 13.
Trees will be on sale from 11 am to 4 pm weekdays and from 2.30 to 4.30 pm Sunday.