A five-star Limousin-cross March-born and EBY-sired heifer is the top prize in a raffle to support the Join Our Boys Trust.
The trust was set up in 2014 to support Archie (16), George (11) and Isaac (11) Naughton, Co Roscommon, who live with a life-limiting illness, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
The raffle is being run by Elphin GAA club and online tickets are available until 6pm on Friday 31 December, here.
In 2012, Archie was six and the twins George and Isaac were two-and-a-half when all three boys were diagnosed with DMD.
DMD is a catastrophic muscle-wasting disease, which will eventually affect the boys’ ability to walk and use their limbs. Archie, George and Isaac are all paralysed and in wheelchairs.
Despite having complex needs, the boys have hobbies and interests like many their age.
Archie has hopes to be a farmer in the future. The 16-year-old has a keen eye for livestock and is a “big fan of the Belgian Blues”, according to his mother Paula.
She says he has bought “several tickets” himself, hoping to win Hilda the Heifer.
George is an aspiring artist and loves painting. Isaac is a sports fanatic and in particular, loves to follow soccer.
Since the Join Our Boys Trust was established, enough money has been raised to build a purpose-built home in Roscommon town to accommodate the boys’ growing needs.
However, an additional €300,000 is now required to ensure the house is fully kitted out with the equipment needed to ensure these complex needs are adequately met.
The latest group to lend its support to this cause is Elphin GAA Club. The club has joined efforts to raise the money needed for the house through its annual fundraiser.
Until 6pm on New Year's Eve, all online ticket sales for the club’s bonanza raffle will be donated to the Join Our Boys Trust. All proceeds will go directly towards the house completion project.
Paula and her husband Padraic, both nurses, have issued a heartfelt thank you for the overwhelming public and business support for their “three beautiful and courageous sons” to date.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal on Friday morning, Paula Naughton said she, Padraic and all the trust’s volunteers are “humbled and amazed by the generosity of Elphin GAA” and all the public support to date.
She said that the club’s kindness to offer 20% of the money raised through its annual fundraiser was already extremely generous in the first place.
On Wednesday, the club informed the Naughtons that 100% of all online sales for the final two days of the raffle will go towards supporting the boys, something Paula said is “just amazing”.
Paula said that while so much money is needed and therefore, the target is “very high”, the public has really got behind the cause. She’s hopeful that the fund is close to passing the €200,000 mark this weekend.
Readers can support the raffle for brothers Archie, George and Isaac here.