Croí’s Golden Ticket Raffle is Here, Just in Time for Christmas!

 

**A Message From Christine Flanagan, Croí’s Director Of Fundraising**

The last two years have brought us all on a journey. We have been through hard times and have dealt with loss in ways unimaginable. However, we have also come together as a community and have supported one another through it all. This Christmas, more than ever, we at Croí Heart and Stroke Charity need your continued support. Our Golden Ticket Raffle is the perfect way to show your giving spirit. 

I hope you’ll let me tell you about how your generosity can save lives. It’s a story of how support for Croí Heart and Stroke Charity matters to families like in the case of Pat Fox from Elphin, Co Roscommon. And at this time of year, when we hold loved ones close to our hearts, I hope it shows how you can help entire families when you participate in our Golden Ticket Raffle. As we come to the end of 2021, we are in urgent need of generous friends. Two years of the pandemic have dealt a terrible blow to our financial support … but people like Pat don’t need us any less now. That’s why our Golden Ticket Raffle is so critical.

Pat Fox family portrait for the Golden Ticket Raffle
The Fox Family

Each ticket costs just €5, and there are so many great cash prizes to win, with a cash fund of €5,000! Even if you only take one ticket, it will help, but please sell as many as you can. They make great gifts, and you’ll be providing lifesaving gifts to people like Pat. 

Pat’s Story

Pat was a healthy marathon runner as a young man, but decades of long, stressful hours building a business took its toll. In 2005, he suffered a heart attack that required urgent intervention, with Pat needing two stents. Like most people after such a traumatic experience, Pat was frightened and anxious. Every sensation in his chest left him wondering if his life was about to end. His wife and his daughter were even more afraid than he was. When families are confused in the face of heart disease or stroke, they turn to Croí. You can help make sure we’re always here. Through the Golden Ticket Raffle, you’ll help lead the fight to prevent heart disease and stroke in Ireland. You’ll save lives and promote recovery and well-being. 

You see, over the years, Pat made the effort to restore his health. Despite his efforts, Pat’s body still struggled, and two years ago, he had a stroke that damaged some of his memory and verbal skills. He has worked hard to recover these and to continue taking steps to improve his health. He found help by accessing free health programmes from Croí including fitness and lifestyle change programmes, and also by checking in by phone with the Croí health team on the Heartlink West helpline when he had questions. Pat told me how life-changing the support of Croí has been: “I spend a lot of time reading food labels. Thanks to Croí, I know what to avoid. Croí taught me that my heart is a muscle. I didn’t know that. Now I know I have to exercise that muscle to keep it healthy. I exercise 45 minutes every single day!” 

Pat credits the Croí health programme he completed last Christmas with keeping him alive, and he is now a regular participant in our weekly Heartlink West virtual chats, webinars and exercise classes. Thanks to the support of generous friends, we converted many of our programmes to online when COVID-19 made group meetings unsafe. That turned out to be a lifesaving gift to Pat. 

Pat and Carol Fox portait photo
Pat and Carol Fox

You see, in March, Pat was doing his usual morning walk when he felt a little strange with some tightness around his chest. At first, he thought maybe it was just something he ate. “In past times, I would have just pushed onward. But because of what I learned from Croí, I stopped. And when the same thing happened the next day, I went to see a doctor.” He went in for tests, and it was good that he did because he had a serious blockage in a main artery going to his heart and needed another stent to prevent a heart attack! His doctor said, “If you had kept walking, you would have been in serious trouble.”

 If it wasn’t for the generous support of people like yourself, Pat may not be with his family this Christmas. Through your support of our annual Golden Ticket Raffle, you will help support and educate thousands of individuals like Pat to help them recover from a heart attack or stroke, and help prevent recurrences. That’s how you could save lives!

How You Can Help: The Golden Ticket Raffle 

And that’s why I ask you to help make our Golden Ticket Raffle a huge success this Christmas. You can buy tickets yourself or sell them to friends, neighbours, or work colleagues. We even have an online option — just visit www.croi.ie/raffle

The raffle takes place on December 20th, so there’s even time to request more tickets. Every ticket you sell helps provide education, lifestyle programmes, cardiac research, a home from home in our Courtyard Apartments, and support programmes for families who are dealing with fear and stress caused by heart disease and stroke. 

Pat and his family are eternally grateful to Croí. They encourage you to support the Golden Ticket Raffle this year. Pat says, “As a family, we will never forget the kindness that Croí has shown to us and we hope that we can repay you in the future.” In fact, Pat is planning his own fundraising event in aid of Croí as a way of giving back. 

Sincerely, 

Christine Flanagan, Director of Fundraising

 

Croí 2019 raffle winners announced!

Much-needed funds raised to support stroke survivors

The Annual Croí Golden Ticket Raffle results were announced on Wednesday, December 18, with 90-year-old Peg Murrin from Co. Donegal winning the top prize of €2,000! The second prize of €1,000 went to Claire Connolly from Oranmore, now living in Australia. Claire’s Grandmother Julie, a stroke survivor and member of Croí’s Stroke Support Group, purchased the ticket for her granddaughter.

The draw took place at 1:30pm in Croí House, with a total prize fund of €5,000.

An incredible €65,000 was raised through Croí’s annual Christmas fundraiser, with funds going to support stroke survivors and their carers. With thanks to generous donors, Croí is able to offer free stroke support services, including specialised physical activity programmes and support groups.

Former Garda Sergeant John Kelly from Cregmore, Co. Galway pulled the winning names from the draw. John survived a stroke eight years ago and now receives specialist support from the Croí Health Team, including communication sessions with a Speech and Language Therapist.

The winners of the 2019 Croí Golden Ticket Draw:

  • 1st prize, €2,000 – winner is Peg Murrin, Donegal
  • 2nd prize, €1,000 – winner is Claire Connolly, Australia
  • 3rd prize, €500 – winner is Ursula Dineen, Sligo
  • 4th prize, €250 – winner is Ultan McDonagh, Galway
  • 5th prize, €250 – winner is Kevin Cume, Co Clare

6th – 15th prize, €100 – winners are Marie Partridge, Dublin; Thomas Walsh, Mayo; Flan Tierney, Clare; Margaret McLaughlan, Donegal;  William Quinn; Marie Darcy, Galway; Marian Carey, Donegal; David Kavanagh, Galway; Derek Kennedy, Galway; Hugh Martyn, Galway.

Seller’s prizes: Sr Margaret Coyle, Galway; Kathleen Heraty, Mayo; Kathleen Joyce, Galway.

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets – your support helps us continue to help stroke survivors and their families. Special thank you to our Golden Ticket Raffle prize fund sponsor Coen Steel for their generous support, and Corrib Oil for sponsoring the sellers prizes.

Pictured from left: David Coen, Coen Steel, our Golden Ticket Raffle Prize Sponsor; special guest, Santa; John Kelly, member of Croí’s Stroke Support Group.
Pictured from left: David Coen, Coen Steel, our Golden Ticket Raffle Prize Sponsor; special guest, Santa; John Kelly, member of Croí’s Stroke Support Group.
Winners Announced social card

Support Croí this Christmas!

“The loss of conversation has been one of the hardest things…
but sometimes John will say a word and it will make me smile.” – Mary Kelly

Take part in Croí’s Golden Ticket Raffle and help stroke survivors like John find their voice again. Great cash prizes to be won and you can make a huge difference to life after stroke.

It was Christmas eight years ago that everything changed for the Kelly Family. John Kelly, then a 48-year-old Garda Sergeant based in Loughrea, Co. Galway, suffered a massive, life-changing stroke. John was rushed to Galway University Hospital and he spent the next 18 weeks receiving care across three more hospitals. “It was a very exhausting time, and we had Santa come in the middle of that! I tried to make things as normal as possible for the children,” says Mary, John’s wife, speaking of their four children – the eldest twins were 13 years old and the youngest was just 6 years old.

Eventually, John returned home to his family in Cregmore, Co. Galway, but he was faced with the long-term effects of stroke. John suffered severe speech impairments, affecting how he speaks and his ability to understand what is being said. He was left with very few words.

John needed help. But so too did Mary, as a stroke carer.

“A family member read online about Croí’s Stroke Support services and we knew we had to get involved. John started with the Gentle Yoga class, before joining the Stroke Support Group and the Stroke Communication Group,” says Mary.

John now receives specialist support from the Croí Health Team, including biweekly communication sessions with Libby Kinneen, our Speech and Language Therapist. John first met Libby five years ago and he has made real progress in gaining confidence with life after stroke. “More words… friends,” says John. Mary also attends Croí as part of the Stroke Carers Group, “It’s so great to meet like-minded people. For my sanity it was so necessary to talk to other people. Life after stroke is so lonely, you feel isolated… Croí is a place to come and feel relaxed, and where no one will judge you.”

A huge milestone in John’s speech work with Libby was actually being able to say the word ‘Ballybofey’, a really important word for John as it is his wife’s hometown. “It meant something to John and Mary,” says Libby. The ‘Ballybofey’ breakthrough gave John confidence in his speech.

“Croí’s Communication Group has been wonderful for John,” says Mary. “Sometimes John will say a word and it will make me smile. But he might never say it again. The loss of conversation has been one of the hardest things.”

With thanks to generous donors, Croí is able to offer free stroke support services to stroke survivors, their family members and their carers. These services are totally supported by the funds we raise every year, including through the Golden Ticket Raffle!

Will you support our annual raffle and help us continue to support stroke survivors and their families, like the Kellys? Each ticket costs just €5 and there are so many great cash prizes to win, with a total prize fund of €5,000!

Tickets can be purchased here.

Thank you for your support!

John Kelly with his wife, Mary Kelly
John Kelly with his wife, Mary Kelly
The Kelly Family
The Kelly Family