Joanne’s Hoops4Hospice Fundraiser at €7,000 and Counting

Players and supporters line up before their 8:30am start of the first game of the day at the Joanne Walmsley Memorial Hoops4Hospice fundraiser on Saturday morning. Included are front from left: Louise Joyce, Elaine Doody, Leah Burke, Tracey O’Mahony and baby Lily, Amber Galwey, Julianne O’Connell with Bronagh and Pádraig and Jackie Burke. Back row: Jerry Twomey, Tim Galwey, Reidín O’Loughlin, Niamh O’Connell, Roisín Casey, Aoife and Joan Nolan, Maura Conroy, Eamon Egan and Liz Galwey. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The old ‘bird in the hand’ analogy was wisely rolled out by the organisers of Saturday’s Hoops4Hospice – a day long basketball extravaganza in honour of the late club stalwart Joanne Walmsley.

Joanne passed away on March 7th last after a long battle with cancer at only 43 years of age.

Ambition and Distinction

In the course of her sporting life she had achieved both ambition and distinction.

She wore the singlets of her club and town, county and country.

She is one of the club’s outstanding heroines – as was clearly in evidence on Saturday at Castleisland Community Centre.

The proceeds of the 14 hour long day will all go the the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

Pledges and Promises

They revealed that they had over €7,000 for sure and it could make the €8,000 mark as pledges and promises abounded on the day.

The final sum will be announced when it’s just that.

“There was huge support all day long with visiting clubs donating to the fund, people baking, businesses sending food and Garvey’s SuperValu giving so much throughout the day even though they’re already sponsors of our home games,” said St. Mary’s club PRO, Liz Galwey.

Normal Fees Waived

“We also had very generous offers of support from The Barrack Fitness while referees and table officials waived normal fees in favour of the fund.

“Joanne’s nieces, six of them, led out the national league teams, Tom McCarthy’s and Tipperary Knights and her daughter, Labhaoise captained the U-20 team.

“It was heart-breaking but heart-warming stuff all day.

“The saddest part is that, while we can say it was a huge success, it really was a day that in an ideal world should never have had to happen,” said Liz.