Mid West Simon’s corporate sleep-out has raised €20,000 for charity food banks. Now in its second year, the sleep-out took place in Thomond Park and saw 21 representatives from local business and politics attended. Both Limerick and Clare were represented at the event, where some prominent local figures bedded down in sleeping bags to raise much needed funds and awareness for homelessness.
“The money raised will help to ensure that the Mid West Simon foodbanks in Ennis, Kilrush and the Dock Road in Limerick, will continue to help those in need of its service,” Mid West Simon said in a statement. “In 2016, 56 tonnes of food were distributed from the food banks in the Mid-West, with 3005 children amongst those to benefit. “
Among those participating in the sleep-out were Senator Kieran O’Donnell (FG), Niamh Gleeson and Donal Creaton of Holmes O’Malley Sexton solicitors, Rory Moylin of Bus Éireann and Pat Brown of Aire Safety Training and Consultancy.
“Without the support of the business community in Limerick and Clare, we would be unable to provide a year-round service from our food banks,” said Jacki Bonfield, CEO of Mid West Simon. “Everyone who supported us in the sleep out is ensuring that people in the region, who are in need of long or short-term help, are catered for. For that, we are deeply appreciative.”
“We are already planning next year’s sleep out sleep out in mid-November 2018. Munster Rugby have been most generous in making their iconic ground available to us and we hope that the business sector in the region will support us again,” she added.
The participants tested their kicking skills with Munster players JJ Hanrahan, Jack O’Donoghue and Ronan O’Mahoney who were invited by Duncan Casey, Munster Hooker and Mid West Simon ambassador, though there appear to have been no rugby prodigies.
“We are all in agreement, that the whole experience was humbling, enjoyable, social, and we all got a glimpse of how the homeless try to survive under such trying circumstances,” said Bus Éireann’s Rory Moylin. “We all very much enjoyed the Thomond Park experience,(kicking the ball over the bar), the tour was fabulous. Duncan Casey was a brilliant patron and host for Simon, he was very natural, and it was nice to meet other lads from the Munster Team. Both yourself and Jackie should be very proud of your efforts and contribution to Simon. We really enjoyed the talk from Dr. Healy, gave us a great insight into how things work.”