Thanks to the local generosity, community spirit, and an outpouring of support in the memory of young Mullingar man Ben Murray (13) — who tragically passed away following arrhythmic complications with his heart — €5,230 was raised for the Mater Foundation, the official fundraising body of the Mater Misericordiae Hospital.
The memorial fundraiser was organised by The Downs GAA Club, KC Sports and local clubs for to support the Mater’s Family Heart Screening Clinic. Following thirteen-year-old Ben’s passing on New Year’s Eve 2016, his family were screened at the Family Heart Screening Clinic, where they received excellent care. The clinic tests the hearts of relatives of persons who have died because of SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome), and relatives of persons who have been diagnosed with an inherited cardiac condition.
The fundraiser served as a poignant celebration of Ben’s life. He was a bright and active child, and an enthusiastic member of three local sports clubs, The Downs GAA, Clonkill Hurling Club and Mullingar Rugby Club. The clubs came together to design a special jersey in Ben’s memory, the proceeds of which were donated directly to the Family Heart Screening Clinic. The jersey was kindly sponsored by KC Sports, Mullingar, who also donated €5 for every jersey sold. The fundraiser was a huge success, thanks to the participation of the local community.
Alma Murray, mother of Ben, presented the cheque to the Mater Foundation on Friday last, September 7, where she spoke about the fantastic support the community displayed for her son.
“I am so very proud of what Ben’s clubs have achieved in his memory. When Ben’s club told us their idea of a Jersey and using the profits from the sale of each jersey that would be donated to a charity of our choice, our immediate answer was the Heart Appeal at The Mater Foundation,” said Alma.
“We will be forever grateful to the compassionate and thorough care that my family and I have and still receive from the staff of the Heart House. Lives are being saved by these amazing people and I know that every penny donated will help keep this amazing service available to other families like us.”
Mary Moorhead, CEO of the Mater Foundation, spoke of the importance of this donation.
“I was greatly humbled to see a community come together to honour such a young boy who obviously was not only sports mad but a real team player. It is a testament to Ben and his family that this unique fundraising initiative was so successful. This wonderful donation from the local sporting community will greatly enhance patient care in the Mater Family Heart Screening Clinic.
“I am deeply grateful to the Murray family for their support which will help us to save more lives. It was a lovely way to remember a very special son, friend, brother, and team-mate.”