Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


International support for Circle of Life

Circle of Life National Commemorative Garden to Organ Donors received a major boost recently with the announcement that the Galway Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International has pledged its support for the project and will now become its major sponsor.

At a special event held in Chicago on 20th August, a cheque for $32,000 was presented to Denis & Martina Goggin of Strange Boat Donor Foundation, $25,000 of which was gifted by Chicago Sister Cities International,  and $7,500 a personal donation from Bill & Nancy Gilbane of Rhode Island who have been advocates and supporters of the commemorative garden since the idea was first mooted in 2010.

Cllr. Padraig Conneely, Mayor of Galway City with Bill and Nancy Gilbane

              Bill Gainer, Chairman and Billy Lawless, Vice Chairman, CSCI with Martina & Denis Goggin

Cllr. Liam Carroll, Galway County Mayor, Cllr. Padraig Conneely, City Mayor with Martina & Denis Goggin

Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI), is part of the Sister Cities Programme, a major initiative instituted by the Eisenhower Administration after the second world war. It is designed to cultivate, foster and promote international understanding and relations through a broad programme of inter-city educational, cultural, social and business exchanges. Today, Chicago through formal affiliations with twenty eight sister cities worldwide, is forging relationships and bringing citizens together to cooperate and share ideas, activities and solutions on a range of topics, including the environment, education, culture, medicine, and technology. Galway, which became a sister city in 1997, has enjoyed a very active relationship with Chicago and was described by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the “jewel in the crown” of the Sister Cities Programme.

Billy Lawless, a native of Galway now living in Chicago, and Vice Chairman of the Chicago/Galway Committee of CSCI, said  “ our decision to support the commemorative garden project is indicative of our commitment to increasing community, cultural, artistic and philanthropic engagement with the city of Galway”. Bill Gainer, Chairman, said the committee was very pleased to be associated with such a worthy project and “its support is a reflection of the esteem in which the relationship with Galway city and its people is held”, he said.

Denis Goggin speaking on behalf of Strange Boat Donor Foundation said the support and endorsement of the project from such an influential body as CSCI will add immeasurably to the stature and standing of this very deserving national garden.

Circle of Life, will be located in Quincentennial Park, Salthill, and is being developed by Strange Boat Donor Foundation, in partnership with Galway City Council.

For more information on Circle of Life:  circleoflife/garden.html

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