County Derry GAA club raises close to £20,000 for charity

The South Derry Downs Syndrome team were guests of honour at the gala dinner.
The South Derry Downs Syndrome team were guests of honour at the gala dinner.

When St. Colm’s, Drum GAC started fundraising for four charities a year ago, they had ambitious plans.

Determined to surpass the £8,000 they’d raised two years previous, the club is over the moon at hitting close to £20,000.

St. Colm’s, Drum GAC secretary Shane McCartney said the initiative started two years ago with ‘3D’ when they aimed to raise £1,000. The Club’s players and members knocked on doors around the county for weeks and hosted a 7-a-side tournament at the club’s grounds, which acted as a curtain-raiser to an exhibition game played by the South Derry Down’s Syndrome team. Drum ended up raising £8,109 and every penny of profit was given to local charities that deal with people suffering from Down’s Syndrome, dementia and depression. Among those they donated to was Rossmar Special School in Limavady.

“We decided to do it again for the same causes, as well as heart disorders. These are causes close to all our hearts,” said Mr. McCartney.

“We had club members and players who gave up their free time on Friday nights and on Saturday mornings to sell tickets. It really was a big effort. There was one Saturday we had members stand outside a supermarket in Dungiven. They raised £500. Local businesses were also very supportive,” he said.

At a gala event last weekend - where the South Derry Down’s Syndrome team were guests of honour - they announced they’d raised a whopping £18,450. The dinner was to celebrate the 125th anniversary of St. Mary’s Gortnaghey PS, the 80th anniversary of St Colm’s Drum GAC and the 10th anniversary of the community centre.

“The next day a local man came forward with a £1,000 donation. He said he was inspired by the whole effort and wanted to donate,” said Mr. McCartney, thanking everyone who donated. “That’s what the club is all about - giving back to our community and celebrating our community and we’re very proud of that.”