Lunching: 1. Eddie Hobbs & Mary Fehily; 2. Marisa Mackle; 3. Niall O’Farrell, Sinead & Barry Andrews. (Pix. Richie Stokes)
Over 200 people gathered at the Four Seasons Dublin for “Sam’s Lunch” an annual fundraising event in aid of the Jack & Jill Foundation. The event is a tribute to baby Sam, the son of Jo and John Nolan from Blackrock and brother of Amy, who passed away in June 2008 aged 13 months as a consequence of an extremely rare brain condition.
The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation was established by Jonathan Irwin and his wife Mary Ann O’Brien in 1997 based on their own personal experience caring for their son Jack at home. For the past 14 years, Jack & Jill has provided frontline home nursing care and respite services to families of children who are born with or develop brain damage and who suffer from severe intellectual and physical developmental delay.
Today the charity receives only 19% of its funding from the HSE and it has launched its SOS (Save our Service) campaign to raise the additional €750,000 funding it requires to keep the service going in 2011 and beyond. Jack & Jill relies heavily on mobile phone and cash donations as well as fundraisers like Sam’s Lunch to bridge the financial gap.