I was absolutely chuffed to bits to find out that I got voted as Boyle Person of the year 2009! It's a great honour to have won this local award which has been in existence for the past seventeen years.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the ceremony, which was held in the Royal Hotel, Boyle on Friday 5th Feb, due to a Poker fundraiser that I was running for the Haiti earthquake victims.
2009 was a very special year for me. As some of you know, I spent the first three months of 2009 in East Africa, working in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda as an independent volunteer with my girlfriend Florence Murphy.
Together we worked in orphanages and schools helping in any way we could, the details of which can be read in earlier posts of my blog.
To have had the opportunity to experience African life the way we did is something very special, and indeed something in which we both wanted to do.
Towards the end of 2009, I wanted to try and raise funds for the homeless, so together with the Galway Simon community I organised a "sleep out" night on the 18th December.
This sleep out night basically meant that volunteers would stay/sleep outside from 8pm until 8am the following morning. This project was a huge success and we ended up raising €3500 in a very short period. We got great support from the people of Boyle not only on the night itself, but also throughout the fundraising campaign.
For this sleep out project, I would like to thank each and every one of the people who helped me not only fund raise, but also took part in the sleep out. The freezing -5 degree conditions of that December night meant that it was not an easy task by any means.
I only got the ball rolling with the sleep out, so without the kind help of the other fourteen volunteers, it would not have been as successful as it was.
We plan to hold another sleep out night in December 2010, in which we hope will have more volunteers sleeping out and to raise even more money for the Homeless.