The charity golf classic takes place at Dundrum House Hotel and Golf Resort in Co Tipperary from today until Friday and the organisers hope it will not only raise funds but also increase awareness of the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association.
Proceeds will go directly towards helping those suffering with motor neuron disease, an incurable neurological condition that can make apparently everyday tasks such as walking, talking and even swallowing almost impossible. The aim is to raise €50,000.
The IMNDA is the primary organisation offering support and care to sufferers and their families, providing home visits by nurse specialists, medical equipment and communication aids as well as financial assistance towards home help. The IMNDA also funds counselling and research.
Fundraising and donations are essential for the IMNDA as they make up 75% of the organisation’s income, so events such as next month’s golf classic need support.
This debilitating disease has become more prevalent in Ireland with many families undertaking the task of caring night and day for a sufferer, often without a medical card or state funds.
The golf event itself will see teams of four enjoying a round of golf followed by dinner in The Venue, Dundrum’s clubhouse restaurant.
In conjunction with the classic, the group is also holding a benefit dance on the night of September 1 in the Dundrum Hotel Ballroom while prize-giving night on September 2 will include an evening of traditional music, attended by a range of sporting and entertainment celebrities.
Among the organisers is Sarah Ann O’Connor from Cashel in Co Tipperary, whose mother, Marian, suffers from motor neuron disease.
“Over the past two years we, as a family, have worked closely with the IMNDA, HSE and our local hospice. I am now my mother’s full time carer and I’m glad I am able to be there for her,” she said.
Specialist equipment is expensive, Sarah Ann said, with electric wheelchairs costing between €6,000 and €10,000; stair lifts €3,500; shower chairs around €3,000; communication devices anything up to €12,000; among others.