Finn Harps Fundraising Officer Trevor Gordon has been “blown away” by the response to an appeal to the club’s fans in recent weeks as membership of the vital fundraiser continues to grow during the COVID19 pandemic.
The club issued an email update to fans last week, including an appeal to consider becoming a member of the 500 Club if in a financial position to do so. Within a week almost 30 supporters had responded taking the total membership to 260. Incredibly the membership of the crucial income stream has risen by almost 70 members since the start of the COVID19 crisis as the community in the North West and beyond rallies around the club once again in a time of adversity.
Talking to club media Gordon said “We are blown away by the support we are getting from our fans, we would genuinely be lost without it. We made the point preseason that we are a fan owned club with no wealthy backer, that the fans are the investors here, and they have stepped up to exceed all expectations”. With the first team having made a positive start to the season, the shutdown of the League due to the pandemic placed the club in a hugely uncertain position. “We have been hugely impacted by COVID as people will know, our sponsors and fans are all affected and our Lotto had to stop. The 500 Club is currently our major only income stream and when people asked any director how they could help that was always the answer. We had 190 members at the start of March and that increased by 25 or so after the league stopped, and to now be at 260 or so is just incredible. We really can’t thank everyone who has joined up enough.”
The club were also boosted by around half a dozen entries from Shamrock Rovers supporters at the end of May, who took out short term memberships to coincide with their cancelled trip to Ballybofey, but the groundswell of support in the past week has been a shot in the arm at the right time. “We are liaising with the FAI over the options around returning to football, and we will need every cent of income to survive whatever becomes of the rest of this season. We issued an email update last week to fans and the very next day 10 new members had signed up. A lot of people told us they had been intending to join but ‘hadn’t got around to it’ and the entries have kept coming since.”
The 500 Club has given away over €8,000 in prizes to around 50 lucky winners since the start of February. One member has even managed to win 3 times in that period, with a few others managing to do a double, but every member continues to have a chance of winning €300 every week, with two runners up prizes of €100. The latest prizes for the first week in June went to
Mary McMenamin, Ballybofey €300
Martin Johnston, Ramelton €100
Tony O’Mahoney, Dublin €100
Membership can be taken out online at www.finnharps.ie/500club where Standing Order forms can also be downloaded, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting any club director to arrange another payment method.