The Galway Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International has become a major sponsor of the Circle of Life National Organ Donor Commemorative Garden in Galway, donating $32,500 to the cause. The garden will remember and give thanks for the generosity of spirit of the over 2,200 people in Ireland who have given the gift of life through organ donation.
The Circle of Life Commemorative Garden was initiated by the Strange Boat Donor Foundation, established by Denis and Martina Goggin, parents of Éamonn Goggin, a young County Galway who was involved in a fatal car crash in 2006 and became an organ donor.
“The support and endorsement of the project from such an influential body as Chicago Sister Cities International,” Denis Goggin said, “will add immeasurably to the stature and standing of this very deserving national garden which, when completed, will be a special place of comfort, inspiration and healing for all, but of particular significance to those affected by organ donation and transplantation.”
The Goggins traveled to Chicago with Mayor of Galway Padraig Conneely and the Spirit of Galway delegation where they were presented with the $32,500 check by the Galway Committee of CSCI on August 20, 2013.
Chicago resident and Galway native Billy Lawless, who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Galway Committee of CSCI, said, “Our decision to support the commemorative garden project is indicative of our commitment to increasing community, cultural, artistic and philanthropic engagement with the city of Galway.”
Stones from iconic heritage sites from each of the 32 counties of Ireland will be assimilated into the garden design to represent donors from their respective counties. There will also be iconic stones donated from each continent, including from South Africa (where the first heart transplant took place) and Ellis Island. The garden will be located in a beautifully landscaped two-acre park on the seafront in Salthill, Galway and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.