Fundraising – The Hard Slog
The Club has been through the mill in terms of Fundraising over the years and as the old adage goes there are many ways to skin a cat or so speak and Rearcross FC is no different in that regard. The end result is that the Club has outlaid in excess of 1 million euros in the purchase, development and maintenance of Rearcross FC Grounds and the Club is in a debt free situation. Members of the Rearcross Community and surrounding areas have more than played their part such has been the magnificent and diverse level of support the Club has received over the years. The Club has also been innovative in some respects to achieve our eventual goal, organizing a multitude of fundraisers in the process over the years, including a number of one-off events in addition to generous contributions from voluntary organisations and sponsors.
The Early Fundraisers
The Club held various fundraising events in dance halls and local pubs especially in the early days, where tickets were sold in advance or alternatively by charging admission fee on entry. Church Gate collections were also a regular source of income at that time, this income stream kept the Club afloat in the early days.
A calendar was printed in the 1994 which involved selling advertisement space to local businesses and which was our first fundraiser outside of the normal routine fundraisers at that time.
Rearcross Church Picture
The Church Picture fundraiser was launched in 1998 where a painting of Rearcross church was commissioned by the Club. Framed pictures were sold in Rearcross and various parts of Ireland where people with Rearcross connections reside. Pictures also made their way to various worldwide locations to where emigrants departed the Cross of Rea in the earlier stages of their lives. The income from picture sales has equated to some €28,000 with pictures still being sold nearly 20 years later.
A very successful race night was held in Newport Community Centre on the 20thOctober 2001. This was a major event for the Club where horses and programme advertisements were sold to facilitate the publishing of a comprehensive programme. Our acknowledgement and thanks to Rody and Ann Kennedy who facilitated the transfer of their bar licence to the Club for the event with all the bar proceeds going to the Club on the night. The event was very well supported by patrons in Rearcross, Newport and surrounding areas and yielded a very handsome profit of €20,665.
The Club commenced a series of bag packing fundraisers in 2007 which has become an annual event in the intervening years. All of the fundraisers have been held in the Parkway Shopping Centre apart from one event held in Dunnes Stores Thurles. Thanks to Dunnes Stores and to all those Club members who assisted with the bag packing activities over the years, the total income from our bag packing exploits amounted to €25,486.
Rearcross FC members and patrons took the fairways at the beginning of August 2009 with a golf classic held at Ballykisteen Golf Club. A new departure for some of us, but nevertheless the event was enjoyable and financially fruitful for the Club with profits amounting to €12,545. Thanks to all teams for their participation and to all who purchased tee box sponsorships, in addition to Mulcair Credit Union for their sponsorship of the event.
The Slieve Felim Community Cycle and Community Day has become an annual event in the Club calendar since 2011, the day kicks off with Cycling events following by a wide range of events which have included donkey derby, Jack Russell racing, piglet racing, Massey Ferguson 35 Inter-pub derby, bouncing castles, dunk tank, commodity auction, calf raffle, cake sale, gala raffle, penalty / sharpshooter competition, churn racing, juvenile treasure hunt, juvenile treasure hunt, guess who? competition, photo-booth, pony / donkey car rides, go karting / tri-cycling, Irish Dancing / music exhibition, face painting, Tipperary v Limerick All Star soccer game, juvenile soccer blitz, bubble soccer, former greats soccer. Forestry loop walks have been added in later years and 2016 saw Rearcross Drama Group stage a “Widows Paradise” in aid of Club funds which was greatly appreciated.
* Updated added to include 2017 details:
The total proceeds from our 7 Community Days amounted to €73,259. The 2017 Community Day was a joint venture between Rearcross FC and Rearcross Tidy Towns, the proceeds amount to €10,200, so Rearcross FC and Rearcross Tidy Towns each received €5,100.
The Club is very fortunate to receive such far-reaching support and goodwill within the local Community and from patrons who don’t play soccer in some instances, so our acknowledgement and thanks to Seamus Morrissey who donated six calves to the Club as part of our Community Day Fundraising activities over the past six years. In addition to donating the calves, Seamus led the charge in terms of the marketing and sales activities, the total proceeds from the calf raffles have amounted to some €12,000.
All Weather Player Area (AWPA)
Rearcross FC was the first Club in the region to install an AWPA in 2002 with the nearest similar facility in UL at that time. However, in the intervening years, all weather playing facilities have been installed by surrounding Clubs which has impacted on this particular income stream per se. Nevertheless, the income from the AWPA since 2002 is in the region of €130,000.
Income from the Bilboa Lotto has been the hardest earned income over the years but has been the steppingstone which facilitated the Club to purchase our grounds in the first instance in addition to subsequent developments. Our fundraising partnership with Bilboa Sports Club commenced in 1994 and has been the most viable option for the Club in the intervening period as sustaining our own weekly lotto process over some 22 years would have proved to be too pressing on our limited resources. That being said, selling tickets on a weekly basis is arguably the most arduous of all fundraising activities, but the Club has received magnificent support from publicans and their patrons in Kilcommon, Newport, Rearcross and Hollyford in the earlier years, our sincere acknowledgment and gratitude to all. Our thanks also to Kennedy’s Shop which has been the weekly distribution centre for weekly book tickets. Lastly, but not least acknowledgement and thanks to those Club members who gave it their all selling tickets over the years and to those involved in the weekly book sales, your hard work and commitment has yielded an income just shy of €400,000! a hard slog but worth the effort in the end.
Interest Free Loan
With a view to eliminating loan interest payments, the Club sought €1,000 loans from Club patrons on an interest free basis at the end of 2013. A total of €32,000 was collected to clear our Credit Union loan and thus eliminating further interest charges. The monies have been repaid in full in the meantime, thanks to all for supporting this initiative.
A number of smaller fundraisers were held over the years including a television raffle, Christmas draws, Easter egg raffles, Kennedy’s Shop bottle collection, international match ticket raffles, last man standing and Euro 2016 competition to name but a few. The Club also received a number of donations over the years, thanks to all. Our acknowledgment and thanks to our sister organizations in the community for their support of our fundraising efforts over the years including Rearcross ICA/Ladies Club, Rearcross Community Council, Rearcross Drama Group, Rearcross Civil Defence, Rearcross Tidy Towns, Sean Treacy’s GAA Club, Shamrock Gun Club and Kilcommon/Rearcross/Hollyford Parish.
The Club received the following funding allocations totalling €287,310, our acknowledgment and thanks to respective organisations for their assistance.
Three fundraising events were held in three local Pubs during 2008 to raise funds to purchase a Defibrillator which is located at the entrance to our Grounds, and which is accessible by all members of the Community.
The Club was involved in a number of Charitable Fundraisers over the years with proceeds going to charities such as St Vincent’s Lisnagry School, Milford Hospice, North Tipperary Hospice and Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
Written by Ger Kennedy (July 2016)
The following fundraising events were also organized post 2016
A number of LMS (Last Manager Standing) competitions were organized across the Premiership, Euro 2016 & World Cup 2018. The total amount raised was €11,870.
The Club’s second Golf Classic took place at Tipperary Golf Club end of August 2019, amount raised from the event was €7,416.
Amount raised from additional Bag Packing fundraisers is €5,996.