Hayes Christmas Lights fundraiser – Pictured are the hayes family above with Santa
Annual Hayes Christmas Lights fundraiser close to 300k lights illuminate the night sky
By I Love Limerick correspondent Mary Caroline McCarthy
On Saturday, November 14, the annual Hayes Christmas Lights display in Shanagolden, Co Limerick was switched on for the public.
This display will be available to see from November 14 to January 6 and is on from 5 pm to 10 pm every night. This year things are a bit different due to Covid-19 but rest assured the Hayes family is doing everything in their power to follow the HSE guidelines and maintain the safety of their guests.
This Hayes Christmas tradition began in 1977 and it has grown to be one of the largest Christmas lights displays in Limerick. The Christmas lights display is always used to raise donations for a worthy cause and this year the display is being used to raise money for Milford Hospice Limerick and The Children Ark Unit at Limerick University Hospital.
Milford Care Centre is a voluntary, non-profit organisation and registered charity. They aim to provide the highest quality of care to patients or residents, family, and friends, both in the areas of palliative care and services to the older person.
Many families in Limerick have had some connection with Milford Hospice, be it directly or indirectly. They are a massive support to the community of Limerick, there is not a family in Limerick that hasn’t been supported by Milford Hospice.
The Children’s Ark is the paediatric unit at the University Hospital Limerick and is made up of three main areas. The Rainbow War is for babies and young children up to three years of age, the Sunshine ward is for children from three years up to sixteen years and the Caterpillar Day Ward is for children who need oncology care and it is shared with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin.
The Children’s Ark also has a school that caters to the educational needs of children and young people in the hospital. As well as offering them activities like art, music, P.E., and cooking so that children may keep up with their own schoolwork. There are two national schoolteachers and secondary school teaching is provided when needed.
The Hayes family understands the difficult position many people are in this year in regards to fiancé however they would appreciate any donations you can manage. Their current target is €500 and they have almost reached that goal now.
Talking about this year’s light display, Cormac Hayes said, “We started in 1997 and it has grown over the years. Our biggest inspiration was our dad, my dad started the tradition. It brings people together and at the end of the day, it is nice to give back to charity. People come from all over, Cork, Waterford, Clare, and we promote it all over social media. The more people that come to see the display the more donations we can raise.”
“It’s been a difficult year for so many people, but we hope this Christmas we can bring a smile to you and your family with our winter wonderland display. It’s fantastic to get the opportunity to bring people together and take pictures at this time of year. All money raised goes to Milford Hospice Limerick and The Children Ark Unit in Limerick University Hospital. Your donation is greatly appreciated,” he added.
Santa and Mrs Claus are preparing to embark on a whistlestop tour of towns and villages in West Limerick to raise funds for Milford Hospice and the Children’s Ark at UHL.
Organised in association with the Hayes Christmas Lights display in Shanagolden, the tour will take place next Sunday and Monday.
“We would love to see families with Christmas hats and of course green and white flags for our wonderful Limerick hurling team. Unfortunately we can’t stop to take pictures with Santa and Mrs Claus because of Covid-19 and the HSE guidelines that are in place,” said organiser Cormac Hayes.
While social distancing will be observed, there will be people beside Santa’s Sleigh who will accept donations.
The tour will begin at around 5.30pm on Sunday passing through Shanagolden, Askeaton, Rathkeale, Croagh, Adare, Patrickswell, Mungret, Clarina, Kildimo, and Kilcornan.
On Monday, Santa and Mrs Claus will visit Ardagh, Newcastle West, Templeglantine, Abbeyfeale, Athea, Glin, Loghill and Foynes.
To donate to the A Light for a smile Hayes Christmas Lights fundraiser, go HERE
For more stories on fundraisers, go HERE