Galway charity worker Marina Fiddler has been named joint runner-up at the inaugural Calor Community Champion 2012 competition.
Following intense deliberations, MADRA founder Marina was just pipped at the post for the title after polling 4,000 votes following the closure of the public vote on the Calor Ireland Facebook page.
Lifford scout leader Joe Boland was named as the winner of the overall prize but Marina’s dedicated and selfless work with MADRA rescuing and rehoming dogs across the West saw her receive the joint runner-up prize.
As an inaugural runner-up, Calor will be providing Marina with a bursary of €500 to a charity or local organisation of her choice, which she is awarding to MADRA.
Marina established MADRA (Mutts Anonymous Dog Rescue and Adoption) in Connemara in 2005 and it is a not-for-profit charity dedicated to finding homes for neglected dogs.
It is very much a community based operation and provides many services to help both humans and dogs, such as training facilities, boarding facilities for the pets of older people who may be temporarily unwell or hospitalised, transport of dogs to and from the vets for people without transport and a rehoming service for people who may need to surrender their dog for genuine reasons.
They also run an education programme for primary school students, visiting classrooms to help them learn about responsible behaviour towards animals and welfare. Marina continues to be on call 24/7 and leads all of the fundraising efforts for the organisation.
“It is hugely humbling and an honour to be named runner-up in the inaugural Community Champion. Each and every one of the finalists and nominees is a winner for their communities; it has given me a sense of immense pride to be mentioned with this worthy and selfless group of people,” said Marina.
“Each one of the hundreds of people I have been in contact with as part of my work, young and old have been champions. I feel privileged to have been given the chance with this amazing bursary to help and support the ongoing work at MADRA.”