By Dionne Meehan
A FUNDRAISING calendar with a twist was launched in Ramelton on Friday with all profits going towards the purchase of a town sweeper.
The calendar, created by the participants of the Ramelton Community Employment Project, saw locals dressing up and striking a pose in numerous “iconic” locations around the town.
Working hard to maintain the public areas in Ramelton and to support the many voluntary community groups in town, the scheme participants initiated a fundraising activity electing to raise funds for a town sweeper to support the local Tidy Towns.
Speaking at the launch, Chairperson of the Ramelton Community Employment Scheme, Joe Birney said the enthusiasm shown by the participants was great.
“The participants just love to dress up. It went very well for us,” he said.
Community Employment Schemes are designed to help those who are long-term unemployed by offering part-time and temporary placements in jobs based within local communities.
Employing a total of 21 workers at the minute, Joe said the Ramelton Community Employment Project is a “great” opportunity.
“Participants are getting their stamp paid so they end up with a contributory pension which is very important to people nowadays,” he said.
However, those in attendance were told the scheme wouldn’t have been maintained without former Councillor Ian McGarvey’s input.
Originally part of Donegal Ancestry, when they closed their doors it was Ian who called for the scheme to be maintained in the town.
Expressing his gratitude to Ian, Joe said it is thanks to him that the committee and the scheme is running and keeping all the different facilities going.
Officially launching the 2024 calendar, Ian McGarvey said not only was it a privilege for him, but a pleasure to be from Ramelton.
At 93-years-of-age, Ian spoke of the years he spent contributing to the community, even before he was elected to Donegal County Council.
“The reason I got elected to Donegal County Council was because I envisioned the possibility that it would be beneficial to the people that I wanted to represent and that they would have someone to talk to, an authority that could help to achieve improvement for everybody in the community,” he said.
And even now that he is retired from politics, that part of his life remains the same.
If you are interested in picking up a copy of the calendar you can do so at the Second Encounter Charity Shop in Ramelton.