Christmas Charity Collections
Each Christmas the Club now undertakes Charity collections at Shopping Centres or supermarkets in aid of local, national or international charities. We are very thankful to the shoppers who so generously give and enable us to donate these monies. The Club is also particularly grateful to all the collectors (members and their families), representatives of the charities and members of the Belfast West Rotary Club who have helped with these collections and to the management of the shopping centres and supermarkets for facilitating the collections.
The Club have been delighted with the response with considerable sums being donated to the charities.
|2016||Tesco Newtownbreda: 08-09 Dec|
|Mitchell House School and ShelterBox||£1,500|
|Club Rotary Charities||£1,400|
|2014||Tesco Newtownbreda: 31 Oct-01 Nov Tesco Knocknagoney: 19-20 & 22-23 Dec|
|End Polio Now, Cancer Fund for Children and Rotary Ireland District Project 538||£3,500|
|2013||Tesco Knocknagoney: 16-19 Dec Park Centre 21-23 Dec|
|Alzheimer's Society, Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Chest Heart and Stroke Association||
|2012||Tesco Knocknagoney: 10-14 Dec Park Centre 17-22 Dec|
|ShelterBox, Special Olympics Ireland, Aware Defeat Depression and Guide Dogs for the Blind||£4,500|
|2011||Tesco Knocknagoney: 11-16 Dec ( 3 separate days)|
|Alzheimer's Society, Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Chest Heart and Stroke Association||£1.531|
|Park Centre 19-24 Dec|
|SOSBus, FASA and NICLT (Northern Ireland's Children to Lapland Trust)||£3,016|
|2010||Tesco Knocknagoney and Tesco Newtownbreda: 08-22 Dec|
|CLIC Sargent, Help our Heroes, SOSBus, Spina Bifida, Walkaway Community Association, Bothar, Cystic Fibrosis and St John's Ambulance||£28,340|
In recent years the Club has displayed a tree of Remembrance and shoppers who donated were invited to write a private personal message on ribbons which were attached to the Tree. Whilst Christmas trees are usually purely decorative, these trees provided a simple, yet poignant, way of remembering, acknowledging and celebrating the lives of loved ones amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. We hoped that people would take a look at the trees, with their unique ribbons and that the true spirit of Christmas would be made evident for one special moment whilst supporting local charities.
The Club have been really pleased at the hundreds of ribbons which have been attached to the trees.
All the ribbons, each with their own story of messages and thoughts of loved ones, were subsequently dedicated at Church Services.
The ribbons from the 2012 & 13 collections were blessed by Father Michael Murtagh during mass on Sunday 15 June 2014 at the beautiful Clonard Monastery. The ribbons were presented by President Ken Morrison with his wife Gilly and Past President Brian Clements in attendance.
President Alan Rundle and his his wife, Fleur, Club members, Rotaractors and our Ambassadorial Scholar Delia Ferguson were honoured to be at the blessing of the messages of thousands of yellow ribbons from the 2011 Christmas's Park Centre Tree of Remembrance during the Choral Mass Sunday 25 November 2012 in St Peter's Cathedral. All were given a great welcome and there was inspiring music from the renowned Schola Cantorum Choir formed by Director of Music, organist and choirmaster Trevor McClintock. In particular, their Hallelujah Chorus during the offering and blessing of the ribbons was magnificent. This was an exceptional occasion in the beautifully restored Cathedral.
The 2010 ribbons were blessed in St Anne's Cathedral by the Dean during the Club's Centenary Thanksgiving Service. Having been introduced by President Adrian Kerr the baskets of ribbons were processed by six children and grandchildren of Belfast Club members - Assistant District Governor Maurice Brooks, Past President Alastair Corscadden, Mark Davidson and Hon Treasurer Ivan McMinn. They were placed around a candle of light and hope which was lit by President Adrian's wife, Margaret, during which 12 year old Victoria College student Alexandra Dick sang a moving solo of John Rutter's Clare Benediction (more here).