Maxi Zoo help raise money towards AADI
Maxi Zoo customers in Gorey have helped to raise an amazing €25,650 which is set to transform the lives of children with autism by providing them with highly trained assistance dogs.
The amount was raised as part of the annual Maxi Zoo Give Paw fundraising campaign and all proceeds from the event have been presented to Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI).
The month long fundraising campaign was generously supported by local pet owners when it took place at the Maxi Zoo pet store at The Mill Retail Park last October, offering locals the opportunity to support the national charity by buying a €2 friendship bracelet.
Assistance dogs are not pets but service dogs who are trained for up to two years to carry out specific tasks to support children with autism to overcome the distressing elements of their disability and to live the life they deserve. They provide safety and companionship, reduce anxiety and suffering, promote independence and improve coping mechanisms for children with autism who would otherwise live in a very isolated world.
‘One in every 65 children in Ireland has autism. We have over 200 children on our waiting list which we had to close due to lack of funding,’ said Nuala Geraghty, CEO Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland. ‘In the past 24 months we have had over 1,600 families contact our charity asking us for our support.’
Nuala said these are families that you no longer see in communities because their child’s autism is so debilitating that they cannot leave their homes. The generous contributions to Maxi Zoo’s Give Paw campaign will really help to reach more children and their families and to change their lives and their future.
Maxi Zoo Managing Director, Ciaran O’Neill, thanked those who supported the fundraising campaign.
‘The Maxi Zoo Give Paw campaign has been running for a number of years and we always try to better the amount that we raise each year so we can provide more funds to charities in need,’ said Mr O’Neill. ‘The €25,650 that we raised in one month this year was double the €11,818 that we raised the previous year.’
Ciaran O’Neill, Managing Director, Maxi Zoo Ireland presents a cheque for €25,650 to Nuala Geraghty, CEO of Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland. Picture: David Keane.
John Considine, chairman of Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, Nuala Geraghty, CEO of Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, Ciaran O’Neill, Managing Director of Maxi Zoo Ireland and Eadaoin O’Gorman from Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland.