A nurse who works in a neonatal unit of a busy regional hospital caring for babies has been announced as the lucky winner of Down Syndrome Ireland’s national raffle.
Joanne Moore is the Clinical Nurse Manager in the Neonatal Unit Sligo University Hospital and has worked with many babies with Down syndrome and their parents during her 22 years with the hospital.
The top prize was a Hyundai i10 classic car worth €15,545.
The raffle raised almost €80k in vital funds for the charity which supports 3,500 people with Down syndrome and their families across Ireland and needs to fundraise and rely on the huge generosity of the public to raise 80% of its running costs each year.
Speaking about her win, the mum of three originally from Castlebar who lives in Strandhill, said: “I’m delighted to win – it’s a great start to 2022! I feel very privileged and lucky. I’m so delighted too to support Down Syndrome Ireland as I work with babies with Down syndrome and their parents in the neonatal unit and liaise with the charity’s branch in Sligo a lot too to ensure new parents get all the support and they need.”
The winning ticket was sold to Joanne by her best friend, Down Syndrome Ireland Sligo Branch committee member and mum to John (9) Claire Kelly.
Speaking about selling the wining raffle ticket, Claire said: “I just couldn’t believe it when I saw the live draw online and Joanne’s ticket was called. Joanne is a wonderful friend and such a great support to parents of babies with Down syndrome. It feels almost life a full circle moment. I’m thrilled for her.”
The raffle was part of Down Syndrome Ireland’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2021. Funds raised will support the DSI community at a local level through the charity’s branch network around the country. They will also help further develop supports at a national level ensuring continued support to people with Down syndrome across the lifecycle.
The charity has twenty-five branches nationwide. These branches are run almost exclusively by volunteer parents working in committees and they provide children and adults with Down syndrome and their families with a wide range of services – such as parent support groups, speech and language therapy and adult education courses – as well as social opportunities.
Barry Sheridan, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), said: “Huge congratulations to Joanne – we wish her the best of luck with her prize! Huge thank you too to all the people around the country who purchased tickets to support our work on the ground. I’d also like to thank our amazing volunteer parents who worked tirelessly to sell tickets to raise vital funds for their local branch.
“We launched the raffle in 2021 as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations. Many people would be surprised that more than 50 years into our existence, we still rely on the huge generosity of the public to raise 80% of our running costs each year. That is why our fundraising efforts are so important. We are so grateful to each and every person and corporate partner who help us to continue to provide our vital services and supports across the country.”