A tractor run which took place in April has pushed the amount of money raised by the Friends of Naas Hospital(FONH) beyond €900,000, writes Paul O’Meara.
The FONH was formed in 1998 with the aim of ensuring care and comfort for patients by buying items and equipment which cannot not be provided through the normal hospital budget.
A treadmill was the first piece of equipment purchased because of the difficulty in getting appointments for patients to have an exercise stress test in Dublin hospitals. This meant that patients no longer had to travel by ambulance or taxi for an exercise stress test. A cardiac monitoring system for the Coronary Care Unit was bought soon after that, followed by an echocardiography machine for the Cardiology Department.
The fundraising committee consists of hospital staff and interested members of the public and are looking for new members.
Fundraising events include fashion shows, concerts, food demonstrations, raffles, cake sales, soccer matches, golf classics, marathons, cycle rallies, tractor pulls, head shaves, table quizzes, dances and private donations amongst others.
A wide variety of local groups, orgnaisations and businesses have helped the FONH over the years including J.F. Dunne Insurance, Lions Club,Naas Musical Society, I.F.A., Bord Bia, Kildare Bikers Club, Naas Cycle Club, Soroptomists, Kildare G.P. Faculty, Nas Na Ri Singers, Curragh Local History Group, Kildare Hunt Club, Macra Na Feirme, Stathams Jewellers Naas, Newbridge Silverware, Miss Punchestown Committee, Kildare Women in Business Network, Mallon Motors Naas, Donadea Running Club, Naas Golf Club.
Many individuals have also contributed funds by getting sponsorship for various different events and donations have been provided by the families of deceased patients.
Equipment to expand care for oncology and stroke patients has been bought along with raft of vital medical equipement and machinery. For the End of Life Care projects in the hospital the group has helped with the refurbishment of the mortuary and all day rooms to provide a more tranquil area and space for relatives and patients.
With the assistance of the Kildare Library Service a weekly library service for hospital patients in the hospital. There is also a continuous book sale with book donations from the staff and community.
The Joe Cronly Memorial Tractor Run took place at Allenwood GFC and ended in Weld’s pub, Robertstown. The €8,300 raised will help develop a dedicated single room for End of Life care in the Hospital.