Did you know Croí is an independently funded charity, and that our fight against heart disease and stroke is almost entirely supported by fundraising events and public donations? Without the tireless efforts of the people of the West of Ireland, we would not be able to afford vital services such as health screening, life-saving courses, or accommodation for families of coronary and stroke patients.
We are delighted when members of the public take the initiative to organise their own fundraisers. You don’t have to make a huge effort or spend a lot of money on venues or prizes; there are many ways you can assemble friends and family, have fun and raise money for a good cause. The crazier the idea, the better! Contact the fundraising office on 091-544310 or email Luigi@croi.ie to let us know about your fundraiser, and we’ll do all we can to help.
Checklist for fundraising
Set a fundraising goal. How much can you realistically raise?
Set a budget. Remember to ask around; there are always people willing to donate goods, services and facilities free of charge. Check if you need to pay for a venue or a licence.
If it’s a community effort, form a committee and put people in charge of certain areas e.g. selling tickets, publicity, food, getting sponsorship. Play to people’s strengths.
If you’re doing your own thing, think about setting up a page on Everyday Hero and selecting Croí as your charity of choice. This makes it easy for people to sponsor you as you can share the link on social media. You could even holler at well-known people on Twitter – they might give you a Retweet.
Set a schedule listing all the tasks that need to be done and when they need to be done by.
Market your fundraiser- make posters if it’s small scale, or contact us and we’ll get the word out to the public and the media.
Stuck for ideas? Here are some suggestions, some traditional and some not so traditional!
Aerobics class: Ask an instructor if they’d be willing to donate an evening or two of their time, then charge people at the door to get their sweat on. Other ideas are Zumba, yoga or spinning.
Bag packing: This always raises plenty of funds, but make sure everyone knows what they’re doing to avoid angry customers. You’d be surprised how many people would shove raw meat in with the bread…
Bake sale: Another classic. Why not mix it up with a theme? You could bake heart-friendly cakes and biscuits, or sell gingerbread hearts.
Bingo: An oldie but goldie, and it always gets people ramped up! Get people to buy tickets and ask local businesses to donate prizes.
Car Boot sale/jumble sale: Shift the unwanted Christmas presents, unworn clothes and random tat from around your home, and donate the proceeds to charity.
Carolling: You don’t have to sing like a lark to bring festive cheer to your town! Gather a group in town and crown yourself in your finest Santy hats.
Céili Mór: Revisit your Gaeltacht days; who remembers The Siege of Ennis? Host a Céilí and have the craic. Ask local musicians if they’d be willing to play to add to the atmosphere.
Colour day: Ask everyone in your school or workplace to wear red in aid of Croí for a small fee.
Cookery demonstration: Have a local chef or dietician give an evening cookery lesson. Better still, you could get them to demonstrate heart-friendly recipes.
Decade themed party: Transport yourself back to the 70s, 80s and 90s! Dig out your most questionable threads and pump up the jam.
Dinner party: Have your very own Come Dine With Me experience and charge friends, family or strangers to try your culinary “delights”. You could serve a particular country’s cuisine, or cook vegan and veggie meals.
Drag night: Be inspired by Ru Paul’s Drag Race and Panti Bliss and lip sync for your life. Dress like
your favourite drag queen or diva. Remember, ladies can do drag too! You. Better. Work.
Eurovision karaoke: If you have a diverse community, you could have representatives from all around the world murder the classics in aid of charity. Or you could always just dress up in feathers and sing Waterloo.
Football/hurling/rugby match: Charge a player or team fee. You can play a one-off match, do a penalty shoot-out or turn it into a tournament. And try not to tackle your supervisor too much.
Gaming tournament: Gather a few consoles and TVs, charge players an entrance fee and go head-to-head in your favourite multiplayer computer games. Warning: we are not responsible for any injuries sustained during intense Mario Kart sessions. For the traditionalists out there, you can play classic board games instead.
“Guess the Baby” competition: Bring in your childhood photos and try to guess which of your co-workers went from cool to ghoul (or vice versa!) for two euro. Provide a nice prize for the person who gets the most right.
Henna: Doing henna tattoos is a great way for artistic types to raise money. You could also braid hair, make jewellery or do face painting for the kids. We would urge you to stop short of doing prison tattoos, however.
“Hug a Pug”: Bring your pup to work or school and charge people for the cuddles and TLC that only a doggo can provide. Dogs are the best stress reliever. Fact.
Ice Cream day: Irish people will always flock towards ice-cream, even if it’s minus ten degrees outside. Set up a table at lunch time and hand out wafers and cones. Make sure you have sprinkles on standby.
Indoor rowing: Challenge yourself or recruit a fit friend. Set a target, e.g. the distance from Galway to Cork, and ask people for sponsorship. Alternatively, set up shop in a public space and get someone to shake a bucket (and to keep you hydrated).
Job swap: Take inspiration from the Cistercian nun who joined a silage crew and try your hand at a very different career path for a day. Make your boss swap places with the cleaner, or have your local Garda host a dance class.
Knit-athon: See how many lopsided scarves and technicolour jumpers you and your friends can knock out in 24 hours. Provide plenty of tea, cakes and gossip.
Lawnmowing: Offer your services to your neighbours and donate the proceeds to charity. You could also rake leaves, wash cars or paint walls.
Lip Sync Battle: You might not be able to afford Beyoncé, but you can do your best attempt at the Single Ladies dance. No vocal talent required, but dressing the part is essential.
Movie night: Pick out a crowd-pleasing classic and sell tickets, or ask people to vote for their favourite movie. Classrooms, community centres or lecture halls with a projector would be good venues. You could even see if a local cinema would be willing to rent out a screen at a reduced price.
No Smoking day: Challenge yourself and your colleagues to kick the habit for a full work day. People can get sponsorship or donate the money they would usually spend on cigarettes to your cause. It might be a push in the right direction.
Pancake party: Find yourself a kitchen and serve up some pancake-y goodness to hungry customers. Stock up on Nutella and try to not burn down the building.
Pamper parlour: It seems like everyone is a make-up artist nowadays, so put those skills to good use. Get together with the girls (or boys!) and give each other facials and manicures, or treat your boss to a crash course in contouring. Fancy candles are optional.
Parachute Jump: CHeck out Phill Bazler’s skydive for Croí in memory of her husband in April 2018 – Phill has a fear of heights so for her this was the ultimate challenge! https://youtu.be/gWZNDL9Q_MY
Poker night: All the money will go to a good cause, so you won’t feel too guilty if you have to empty your wallet.
Pyjama day: Most of us consider hopping straight out of bed and into the car every morning. And now you have a good excuse!
Raffle: Be creative! As well as the usual bottles of wine and bric-a-brac, you could auction off a day off work, the handiest parking space or a week without work-wear if you have to dress formally.
Speed dating: Host a speed dating event at your local pub, charging would-be romantics an entrance fee. Open your heart to save hearts!
Sponsored silence: Are you a chatterbox? See if you’re able to keep schtum for 24 hours. If you’re meek, any vice will do. You could give up your smartphone or stop drinking for a month, for example.
Sponsored walk: Bring a few buckets that you can rattle at passers-by. Wear reflective gear, and keep an eye on the weather forecast!
Spooky sleepover: Come Hallowe’en, you could have people sponsor you and your mates to spend the night in a creepy house or castle. You might see ghosts, or worse, your friend stumbling around in tattered boxers.
Talent show: See what hidden talents your friends and family have! You never know who in the neighbourhood is a secret escape artist or a gifted juggler.
Tea party: Pretend you’re a Bennett sister and have an old-fashioned afternoon tea session. Serve delicate nibbles like crumpets and scones and borrow some fancy crockery. Don’t forget to put on your finest wear and mind your manners or you’ll never find yourself a husband.
Teddy Bear’s Picnic: This one is great fun for the kids. Serve up vintage treats like jelly and ice cream, Angel Delight and ginger beer for the full Enid Blyton experience.
Uniform swap: Let the boys wear skirts for the day (you know they want to), or allow the ladies of the office to show up in a snazzy suit and tie.
Viewing party: Gather any amateur TV critics you know and have a sponsored showing of the finale of your favourite show or a big match. Alternatively, host a marathon screening of a popular show or film series and charge people to attend. Extra points if you dress up as your favourite character.
Waxing: We all know lads who have a finer chest pelt than a grizzly bear. Gather them all together and warm up the Veet strips, because we’re about to let ‘er rip.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless! Hopefully, you’ll feel more confident about hosting your own Croí fundraiser. And if not, you could always take part in one of our own. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and news page for upcoming events.
The Summer party season is officially upon us with staff Summer parties, family get togethers and old friend catch ups all coming down the line fast! Summer is a busy time of year for parties with high emphasis on eating and drinking. To help here are some tips to help eat that bit healthier
1. Don’t arrive starving
Eat a small, healthy snack a couple of hours before your meal to make sure you are not tempted to eat everything in sight. This will also help you to avoid side portions that you do not need.
2. Avoid the nibbles
At the beginning of a meal, when you are hungry, it’s very easy to fill up on the bread, poppadams, tortilla chips, etc. Try to avoid these extras.
3. Fill up on low-fat foods first
Make sure your starter is something light, like soup or salad. That way, there is a good chance that you won’t eat too much later on during the rest of the meal.
Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions or alterations. Ask for sauces and dressing on the side, vegetables to be served without butter, salad or extra vegetables instead of chips. Most places are used to this.
5. Watch the fats
Go for vegetable, chicken or fish dishes over fattier meat dishes. Avoid creamy sauces in favour of tomato-based sauces. Choose baked or boiled potatoes over chips. Ask whether the food can be grilled instead of fried.
6. Eat slowly
Enjoy your meal and the company. Give your body time to give you the signal that you are satisfied.
7. Times have changed
You don’t have to clean your plate. Cover the remaining food with your napkin if you like.
8. Sharing is caring
If you are still hungry, try to choose one of the lower fat dessert options like fruit or sorbet. If you want to go for one of the more indulgent options, why not share?
9. Drink to your health
Enjoy your glass or two of beer or wine, and sip water with your drink to reduce your alcohol intake.
Salmon and other oily fish such as mackerel, herring, trout and sardines are a great source of polyunsaturated fats which can help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. You should try to include some oily fish in your diet at least once or twice a week. This recipe for Cajun Salmon Salad is a quick and easy lunch or dinner option!
Ingredients – Serves 1:
1 salmon fillet
Handful Mixed leaves
Handful Green beans
4-5 Asparagus spears
6 cherry tomatoes
4 baby potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon chopped parsley
Sprinkle some Cajun spice onto the salmon fillet and rub in.
Wrap the salmon in tinfoil and bake in the oven at 180C for about 12-15minutes or until cooked.
Boil the baby potatoes. When cooked, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and chopped parsley.
Boil the green beans and asparagus for a few minutes until cooked.
Chop the avocado and tomato into bite size pieces.
Mix your salad ingredients together and place your cooked salmon fillet on top.
This is a lovely fruit summer salad, perfect for those hot summer afternoons or evenings. Avocados and nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats which can help to increase levels of our good cholesterol (HDL). Chickpeas are a good source of soluble fibre which can help lower levels of our bad cholesterol (LDL). Too much bad cholesterol and not enough good cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Ingredients – Serves 2:
1 tin chickpeas, drained
A few basil leaves
1 dessertspoon olive oil
2 Handfuls mixed leaves
12 cherry tomatoes
1 Grilled Red Pepper
Dessertspoon of toasted nuts and seeds (dry fry some cracked hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds on a frying pan until lightly toasted).
In a bowl, mix together the chickpeas, olive oil, chopped basil leaves and a light sprinkle of sea salt.
Chop the avocado, mango and grilled red pepper into bite-sized chunks.
Assemble all the ingredients together and top with the toasted nuts and seeds.
Croí Cardiac and Weight Management Dietitian
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