‘Winner takes all’ 23 prizes in mammoth fundraiser

Fr Michael Sweeney and Ann McGonigle, pictured in Ballyliffin.
Fr Michael Sweeney and Ann McGonigle, pictured in Ballyliffin.

One lucky person is set to win 23 prizes that showcase the best of Ballyliffin in a brand new fundraising draw.

Ballyliffin Tidy Towns Committee has announced an innovative new fundraiser where one lucky winner will take all prizes on offer.

Prizes for the mammoth draw have all been donated by businesses and services based in the Ballyliffin area and include hotel stays, vouchers, treatments, framed prints, passes, jewellery, a go-kart and passes to a host of events throughout the year.

Unlike other fundraisers, where prizes are categorised into first, second, third and more, just one lucky ticket will win all 23 prizes, with the draw set to take place in just a few weeks - on January 6, 2019.

The fundraising draw has been organised to raise money for the regeneration of Ballyliffin village, which saw thousands of tourists descend on it earlier this year for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Chairperson of Ballyliffin Tidy Towns Committee, Pat McGonigle told the ‘Journal’ how they have been lucky to acquire funding in recent times for works in the village.

This included €100,000 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, for which Donegal County Council provided €25,000 match funding and money under the Community Involvement Scheme (CIS.) These monies had to be spent on various works around the village but the committee’s biggest priority is locating the ESB service underground. The electricity poles in the village are at least 60 years old and an “eyesore.” However, this costs a substantial amount of money and the committee has to come up with 12,500 match funding for the CIS scheme, with monies to be spent before the end of the year, so time is of the essence. The fundraising draw will go towards these works. Ballyliffin was awarded 10 extra points in this year’s Tidy Towns competition and the replacement of the lights would “go a long way” to helping increase their marks once again in next year’s competition.

Fr Michael Sweeney, who is also on the committee, praised the support and generosity of the sponsors, the local community and the TUS, Farmers RSS and CE scheme workers, stating they “couldn’t function without them.”

The Ballyliffin Development Committee has also given them strong support. Fr Sweeney told how there is a strong community spirit within Ballyliffin, which is evidenced in the support and enthusiasm for this most recent fundraiser.

Alongside the lights, if funds permit, the committee would also like to undertake more works, including the erection of a footpath at Magherard, a picnic area in the beach carpark and cosmetic works, such as new bins and planting.

Ann McGonigle, treasurer, told how they received an “unbelievable” response when they approached businesses about donating a prize and pointed out how the various prizes involved showcase the high quality level of businesses within the Ballyliffin area.

Fr Sweeney agreed, stating: “The Irish Open gave us a great boost. It showcased Ballyliffin to all the world and there was a great spirit among the people. Everyone helped out and that spirit is still alive and well.”

Ann said it is hoped that people will buy tickets as a Christmas present for a loved one or those who live outside Ballyliffin will purchase one to avail of all the services it has to offer. The tickets also list contact details of each sponsor and is intended to help promote the village. Tickets for the ‘Ballyliffin Deluxe Package’ priced at 50 euro, are available at Atlantic Stores and Foodmarket Ballyliffin/Londis; Mullins Foodstore of Ballyliffin; Glendowen Craft Shop; Tidy Towns Committee members, at www.visitballyliffin.com and through the facebook page, Ballyliffin Tidy Towns. For enquiries, contact 087 2859287 or 074 93 76265.