The stats are quite startling. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in the course of their lifetime, while one in 1000 men will also be affected. In-all, there are 3100 new cases diagnosed each year in Ireland.
And so it’s always with great pleasure that I receive a call from Miriam Hand each year as she prepares her plan to roll out the ‘Play in Pink’ golf days. The initiative contributes so much to Breast Cancer Research and creates awareness as well as a fun and unique golf day filled with laughter. While golf itself has proven to be a healthy, enjoyable and social outlet, the ‘Play in Pink’ Days support the national charity which funds a comprehensive research programme at the Lambe Institute, NUI Galway.
Once again, this year Irish Golfer were able to assist by providing promotion and PR, increasing awareness of these fantastic days and we even managed to take part in a few ourselves, which was great craic altogether. (We’ll spare you the images of our team dressed in pink – not quite catwalk material).
In–all there were 130 ‘Play in Pink’ days around the country which have raised over €160,000 in 2019 alone, no mean feat in a time where there are so many worthy causes to support. It’s a testament to the work of Miriam Hand and the partnerships she has developed with the Irish Ladies Golf Union and Lady Captains all over the country. The total raised in the last five years is close to €1 million and like all good things, it was not achieved alone so, if your club was involved or you played in one of the events, please take a moment to accept some thanks.
The culmination of the 2019 events took place at the fabulous Dromoland Golf & Country Club in Co. Clare and there couldn’t have been a more fitting venue for the event. The participants took to the wonderful parkland layout and were treated to a sumptuous gala dinner afterwards at the Inn at Dromoland, which has undergone somewhat of a facelift in recent years and was a great host venue.
Paul Earley, Board member at the Breast Cancer Research Institute commented; “I’ve been a board member now for couple of years and I’m involved with a few of our charitable sports events including a charity cycle. One of the unique things about the Institute is that almost all the funds raised go directly to research as we only have one fundraising staff member and one office based person so there are no overheads.
“All the other people involved are voluntary and there are no fees and no expenses so I think that people resonate with that, knowing that their money is going directly to the research to help improve patient outcomes, fund more cures and have better life expectancy.
“Play in Pink is hugely important in the overall scheme as over 70% of the funds raised for the Institute come directly from charitable sporting events and this one which runs from Spring to Autumn each year goes a huge way towards helping achieve funding targets. Added to that, the clubs enjoy it, the players enjoy it and the incoming lady captains want to make it better year on year and we’ve more men getting involved too which is brilliant.”
Mark Nolan, General Manager at Dromoland Castle commented; “I’m delighted to have Dromoland Castle associated with this wonderful event and it’s one of our chosen charities. We will definitely be getting involved in this event again and it’s fantastic to see that all the players had a great day, they’re all smiling and having fun, the weather was great too and there were some super scores.”
And the last word on the event was saved for organiser Miriam Hand, who selflessly shuns the spotlight each year but without whom this event wouldn’t be nearly as strong as it is. “With thanks to golfers all over Ireland, the main winner is the research programme at the Lambe Institute in NUI Galway – led by Professor Michael Kerin. All of this would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors and Golf Clubs nationally who help make these events more successful each year. The final day served up great golf, played in the very best of spirits. I extend my heartiest congratulations and thanks to all who competed.”
All at IGM would like to congratulate everyone involved too and if you want to get your club on the roster for 2020, visit www.PlayInPink.com for details.
GRAND FINAL RESULTS
1st Laura Ryan (5) & Marie Slattery (15) (Thurles) Won on last 6 – 43pts Gross Deirdre Smith (+3) & Emily Murray (5) (Co Louth ) - 36pts
2nd Imelda Shields (36) & Ann Callaghan (28) (Co Cavan) – 43pts
Nearest the Pin
7th Ann Creamer 25ins
17th Terry Sexton 16.5ins