Happy Hearts campaign launches today

Cllr Sean O hArgain, Mayor of Kilkenny gets a push start at the launch of the Irish Heart Foundation's Happy Hearts Appeal which takes place from 9th - 11th May. Helping the Mayor on his was are: John O'Neill, Kilkenny Volunteer; Tracy Power, Regional Fundraising Manager; and Gerry English, Loughboy, Kilkenny who had a triple bypass 25 years ago. Picture: Michael Brophy.
This May, the Irish Heart Foundation’s Happy Hearts Appeal is gearing up to be the biggest and best yet, and last month, volunteers from Kilkenny City came together to celebrate the campaign’s Kilkenny launch.

This May, the Irish Heart Foundation’s Happy Hearts Appeal is gearing up to be the biggest and best yet, and last month, volunteers from Kilkenny City came together to celebrate the campaign’s Kilkenny launch.

As the Happy Hearts May campaign draws closer, local volunteers urgently called on people in Kilkenny City to join them by donating a few hours of their time between May 9 and May 11 to sell Happy Heart badges and keep more hearts beating.

This year’s Happy Hearts Appeal, supported by Heatons and Bayer Healthcare, is hoping to raise e500,000 during the month of May to help fund the Irish Heart Foundation’s research, resuscitation, and patient information and support services. More than 750,000 patients, their families and members of the general public availed of the Irish Heart Foundation’s vital information services in 2012 and the charity expects this number to continue to grow in 2013.

“The reality is that every hour a life is lost to heart disease and stroke in Ireland which means almost 10,000 lives are lost here annually,” said regional fundraising manager Tracy Power.

“Every May, more than 3,000 volunteers around the country take to the streets and shopping centres of Ireland selling happy heart badges and the people of Kilkenny City are always great supporters of the campaign. I’m urging local people to join their local Happy Hearts team this May 9 to May 11. It’s never too late to volunteer, even if you can only spare a couple of hours.”

Barry Dempsey, chief executive at the Irish Heart Foundation said that more people die here from heart disease and stroke than any other cause of death – despite the fact that 80% of deaths in those under 65 years could be prevented.

“In addition to the lives lost, there are thousands of lives affected by these chronic illnesses every day,” he said.

“This is why our charity needs your help. I am calling on the people of Kilkenny City young and old, to spare a few hours to volunteer May 9-11 for our Happy Hearts Appeal. This is our charity’s biggest national fundraising event and our on street collections are at the very heart of our appeal this May. I am asking volunteers from Kilkenny City to be an important part of this.”

To volunteer for the Happy Hearts Appeal collections in Kilkenny City, contact Tracy Power on 087-2800995 or email tpower@irishheart.ie. If you cannot volunteer, other ways to get involved during the month of May include organising a fundraising event or donating online at www.irishheart.ie/happyhearts.