Rotary urges people to remember absent loved ones this Christmas

Pictured at Greenmount Christmas Tree Farm, Ireland's largest independent grower of Christmas trees, are (L-R): Garth Arnold, District Governor or Rotary Ireland, Heather Duggan and Paul Duggan, President of Lisburn Rotary Club. Pic by Collette O'Neill
Pictured at Greenmount Christmas Tree Farm, Ireland's largest independent grower of Christmas trees, are (L-R): Garth Arnold, District Governor or Rotary Ireland, Heather Duggan and Paul Duggan, President of Lisburn Rotary Club. Pic by Collette O'Neill
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Local Rotarians are supporting the Rotary Club’s tree-mendous Christmas fundraiser - ‘Trees of Remembrance’.

Expecting to raise a staggering £250,000 for charities both locally and further afield, Rotary Ireland is hosting 32 ‘Trees of Remembrance’ in towns, cities and villages, north and south. Each tree encourages shoppers to remember their loved ones with a message which will then be tied to the tree with a ribbon as a simple and poignant acknowledgment that they will be missed at this festive time of year.

Paul Duggan, President of the Rotary Club of Lisburn, says the Tree of Remembrance has become an important Christmas tradition for both those involved in the organisation and those who come along to remember their loved ones.

“The tree of remembrance is one of our most successful projects each year and we find that our friends and families are always keen to get involved in helping us man the tree,” he said. “There are a lot of man hours required to ensure that our tree is manned throughout the festive period and it is anticipated that across Ireland, Rotarians and their supporters will dedicate over 3,000 man hours ensuring that shoppers can enjoy the poignancy of their local Tree of Remembrance and that they are inspired to take the time to think of the real meaning of Christmas.”

Each Rotary club taking part has chosen their own charities to benefit and Garth Arnold, District Governor for Rotary Ireland says each of them is equally deserving.

“The Tree of Remembrance has been a project Rotary clubs across Ireland have embraced for the last 15 years. To date, we have raised in excess of £3m for a number of amazing charities, from local hospices and homeless shelters to children in Africa, those with living with Alzheimers, the Stroke Association or the Irish Heart Foundation, the list is extensive.

“This year I will be remembering my father who I miss terribly; I’m sure we all have that special someone we miss and I hope that by taking a moment during this busy time of year to remember him will not only give me and my family some comfort, but will also help others in need,” he commented.