Nenagh Eire Og GAA club relaunched their Lotto Draw(from left) Liam Heffernan (Juvenile Club Chairman), Eddie Sheary, Catherine McTiernan (Secretary), Anne Kennedy, Niall Cahill, Aine Gilmartin (Camogie Club PRO) and John Tooher (Chairman)

Eire Og to rebrand club lotto to benefit local charities

By Shane Brophy
Every crisis presents an opportunity and that is what Nenagh Eire Og are doing by rebranding their club lottery to benefit not only the club, but also local charities.

Like many community organisations, fundraising for Nenagh Eire Og has been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions with the lotto draw having been suspended since March, while the clubs other primary fundraiser, the Tipperary GAA Clubs Draw has been deferred until September.

Club Chairman John Tooher described the situation as a “financial nose-bleed,” particularly at a time when the club were about to set out on the development of a new full size sand based pitch while in the last two weeks they have applied for planning permission for the erection of hurling wall.

With funding for these projects required, as well as the day to day running of the club, officers have used the virtual shutdown of club activity to examine a new model for their club lotto which has been in existence since 1991.

“Going forward we needed to examine ways to work closer with our community and one way to achieve this is to link up with local charities,” added John Tooher.

“We have to recognise the people that supported us in the past. It was a great model and people supported us widely on the weekly Saturday night sales. We had to adjust and adapt to the new socially distant world we find ourselves in and with that in mind we designed a new lotto based mainly around online subscriptions with the hope to meet all our traditional supporters once social restrictions are no longer part of our lives.”

The rebranding will see the lotto resume on Monday 29th June with a jackpot of €2,100 as it was when the restrictions came in. However, the new draw will go from choosing three numbers to four but instead of 36 numbers, it will be from 32 numbers.
The week the lotto jackpot is no won, the club will put €200 into a separate draw and every week ten tickets will be drawn and put into a designated draw. At the end of the ten-week period there will be one hundred names in that draw. The prize fund at that stage will have built up to €2000. They will draw three winners, and each will receive €500 each while the remaining €500 will be donated to one of the clubs designated local charities.

The club are inviting local charities to register by contacting the clubs’ lotto co-ordinator on 0858037407.
It is a venture that should be attractive to not only those within the club catchment area, but also outside it with the charity element, particularly at a time when they have been hard hit in terms of their fundraising due to Covid-19.

“If we can show we are going around to the wider community and supporting them as well through the lotto, that’s the unique selling point for Nenagh Eire Og and will make us different to other lotto’s,” admitted Camogie club chairperson Aine McCarthy who highlighted the benefits of the one-club model the club has integrated between the GAA and Camogie.

“The one-club that Nenagh Eire Og have adopted has been brilliant,” she added.

“It a coordinated approach going forward. The one-club model will look at the fair allocation of playing pitches, closely aligning membership rates where we can, and also now the lotto as part of a coordinated approach to fundraising as now by supporting the lotto you are supporting the entire club and all the facets within that club, including camogie.

“We would have been going solo in the past with our different fundraising efforts so now it is coordinated it will suit families as well, who have both boys and girls playing, that they are not asked to support two fundraisers whereas this lotto it’s the whole family that will be contributing to the running of the club.”

The Nenagh Eire Og lotto was one of the first club lotteries set up in North Tipperary 29 years ago after a supporter saw how successful they were as a fundraiser up the country.

“One of our supporter members was away for a weekend in Kildare and was in a pub and someone came in selling lotto tickets and bought one and brought it back to us and said it might be an idea to raise a few pound. That was how it started,” revealed former club chairman and lotto stalwart Ger Gavin.

“We went with three numbers from 36 and stayed with it even though there were propositions to go to four. People were happy that the lotto was being won more often with the three numbers. Before last Christmas it was won five out of seven weeks
“In the early stages we were selling tickets at £1 a ticket and we were selling two thousand per week, it was fantastic.”

Like all club lotto’s in the early stages, the novelty of them made it attractive to patrons, particularly in pubs around the town with Ger Gavin missing the weekly Saturday night banter on his selling route and is looking forward to the day the pubs reopen again and he can start selling again.

“I do miss it even though I don’t drink at all,” Ger added.

“When the lotto began, I was chairman, Jimmy Morris was treasurer and Jimmy Minogue was secretary, and neither of the three of us were drinkers and here we were going into pubs selling tickets. To be honest, we got a tremendous reception wherever we went, both from the owners of the pubs and the public.

“When we get back on track I’ll be looking forward to going into Rocky’s again on a Saturday night, if I’m able, because I miss the craic and the chat with all the different people and the slagging you get. It’s very enjoyable.”

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