Punchestown Gift The Festival Curtain Raiser to Long-Time Charity Partner PKRF
Festival racing at Punchestown will pick up where it left off with today’s announcement that the first race of this year’s festival has been gifted to the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund.
Traditionally, the final race of the Punchestown Festival has been the extremely popular PKRF charity sweepstakes, a concept that gives people the opportunity to experience the thrill of race riding whilst raising funds. In a bid to adapt and continue the tradition the newly introduced, Have The Conversation Say Yes to Organ Donation Novice Handicap Hurdle, will help raise much needed awareness until the charity race can hopefully resume in its traditional format. An incredible €1,570,000 has been raised to date and the fund has supported many initiatives including the landmark project - the state of the art renal unit in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, contributed to the refurbishment of the dialysis unit at Sligo General Hospital, continuous research programmes and sponsored trips to Takers Ski Camps for younger kidney patients.
PKRF founder, transplant recipient and 2002 Punchestown charity race winner James Nolan outlined the objectives for this years campaign: “There are two important reasons for our charity to be part of Punchestown Festival. The first is to raise funds to support all our different projects, the second is to promote organ donor awareness. There were an incredible 123 kidney transplants carried out during a very difficult and challenging 2020. However, there are over 600 people on the list for a lifesaving kidney transplants so we would ask people to have the conversation at home about organ donation. It is much easier for everyone if your family know your wishes. Anyone can free text the word DONOR to 50050 and either click on the link to receive an Organ Donor Card by post or download a digital organ donor card”.
Conor O’Neill, Punchestown CEO said “Since we started planning this unique running of the Punchestown Festival as far back as last summer we had committed to a charity element. James Nolan and the Punchestown Charity Race are part of the fabric of the place. Not only is the charity race a wonderful way to conclude the festival every year but it is also fair to say it is the most important race of the week as it makes such a difference to so many people’s lives. We feel it’s more important now than ever to send a message of solidarity and support and we hope that the race continues to make a difference by prompting people to have the conversation about organ donation”.
Action at this year’s Punchestown Festival will get under way at 3.40pm on Tuesday 28th April with The Have the Conversation Say Yes to Organ Donation Novice Handicap Hurdle. Full live coverage available on RTE2 and RacingTV each day of the festival. Follow Punchestown’s social media channels for the latest news and behind the scenes action. Free text the word DONOR to 50050 to receive an organ donor card.
The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund Projects
The PKRF is a registered Irish Charity (CHY 16613) which has raised €1,570,685 to date and supported a wide number of projects over the past number of years including:
- financially supporting a brand new state of the art Renal Unit in Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
- supported Beaumont Hospital to have a Home Haemo Dialysis Training Unit within the hospital.
- 10 years support to the Art Therapy programmes for Dialysis Patients in Tallaght & Waterford Dialysis Units.
- Helped refurbish the Dialysis Unit at Sligo General Hospital.
- Sponsored numerous dialysis & transplant patients to represent Ireland at World and European Transplant Games
- Continually supported various kidney related research projects, which have varied from sponsoring a Newman Scholar in U.C.D. to study kidney transplantation, to a skin cancer research programme for transplant recipients under Gillian Murphy in Beaumont Hospital as well as supportingresearch projects under the guidance of the Irish Research Council. The most recent projects helped Caragh Singleton to study the benefits of Vitamin D in the transplant population as well as helping Katie Benson to map Polycystic Kidney Disease in Ireland.
- Sponsored trips to Lourdes for dialysis patients and sponsored trips to Tackers Kids Ski Camps especially for the younger kidney patients.
- Sponsored specialised dietary recipe books for dialysis patients as well as promoting the “Opt for Life” logo on to the football jerseys of different teams.
- Researching and investigating the possibility of a new satellite dialysis unit in County Kildare
Free text the word DONOR to 50050 to receive an organ donor card.