UCD students do whatever it takes for our little patients
For CMRF Crumlin, one of its vital sources of support throughout the years has been college students. With their enthusiasm and tenacity, they have consistently done whatever it takes for our little patients in CHI at Crumlin. Student Aoife Bergin, Auditor of the UCD Agricultural Science Society, has done an amazing job during the last year to raise vital funds. She also used her ingenuity during the COVID19 lockdown to rally her members and supporters around a virtual fundraiser.
“The UCD Agricultural Science Society was founded in 1923. And this year, we have more than a thousand society members. In the first semester we had an event every second week, and we ran a white collar boxing night,” says Aoife, “it was actually the Agricultural Science Society's students against the Veterinary students, and that raised a lot of funds. We also had events like county colours.”
“The money will go to St. John's Ward in Crumlin. My brother was going to the hospital for four years. When he was 11 years old, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He's been up and down because he got a knee replacement. Nowadays he's flying it, you would never think there was a thing wrong with the chap. He was so well looked after.
We had events up to March this year, and we had an Agriculture Science Ball. So when COVID19 happened we missed out on six weeks of college, which meant we missed out on three events. So I set up a GoFundMe online and I raffled off a heifer and six other prizes as well. So that brought in €8,000, so all together for the whole year we raised €60,000. All of our funds raised will be shared equally between our two chosen charity partners.
The breed of the heifer was a Limousin. The committee had many connections with numerous societies from our agricultural backgrounds, and a family donated a heifer because they had connections with Crumlin. Ardlea Natalie came out of the top 1% herd in the country so she was very well sought after, and that's what got us so much traction. We just had her picture and that drew everyone to us. We also had other prizes like 2 tonnes of feed, a night away at a hotel, and many more.
We also run our own tea shop in the UCD Agricultural Science Building. The coffee shop brought in a substantial amount of funds while proving to be a nice social outlet or students and teachers. Even our lecturers would come down for a cup of tea and a bar. We don't make any profit out of it, it all goes straight to charities and we just take the expenses out of it and we go to Musgraves and do a bulk shop.
In January, we had Ag Week with events throughout the day, and at night time we had events every night. We had John Gibbons DJ-ing one night, County Colours, a Wax Auction where lads go up and you bid to wax them on their legs or chest, there was also a milk race outside of the Agricultural Building to drink as many pints of milk as you can, and there was tractor race around the college too. Now the tractors were little pedal tractors not real tractors! We also had a big industry panel discussion.
I know all of our members are gutted that they missed out on three events this year. Even six weeks without the tea shop was a huge loss. I was worried with COVID19 going on that people wouldn't want to part with their money if they have lost jobs but I owed it to our charities to continue. That's why I set up the GoFundMe, and I think when people see the charity logos, and the background stories they dig deep.
In March, we had our ball in the Mount Wolseley Hotel in County Carlow, and we made €10,000 for the charities. That took place the weekend before we were shut down because of COVID19. We were so lucky and we skimmed it by our teeth. It was a black tie job - ball gowns and nice suits. Little did we know Covid19 Lockdown was imminent and this was our last time to be together.”
- Aoife, Final Year student in Animal and Crop Production Science in UCD
With your support we will continue to do #WhateverItTakes
If your College or University Society would like to do #WhateverItTakes for sick children in CHI at Crumlin then please contact Sinead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Please note that as described in the article, all face-to-face activities took place before the COVID19 pandemic before social distancing measures and restrictions were introduced.