Irish Teens Giving Back

The 20 finalists of the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, pictured with (top left) John Longeran (Former Governor of Mountjoy Prison), (pink tie) Donal O Buachalla (NAPD President), Ivan Arbuthnot (GTCNI Chairperson), Henry McGarvey (MD Pramerica Systems Ireland Ltd) (front row center) Nobel Laureate and Chairman of Judging Panel, John Hume. Photo by Paul McGuckin.

By Molly Ferns, Editorial Assistant
June / July 2012

On April 9, Pramerica Systems Ireland, Prudential Financial’s Irish branch, honored gold medal recipients Molly Gilmartin and Bonnie Shortall for their outstanding youth volunteer work at the sixth annual Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards in Derry.

The two girls received engraved gold medals, €1000 for charities of their choice and all-expenses-paid trips to the U.S. in May, when they will join other gold medalist volunteers from around the world at the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in Washington, D.C. Molly and Bonnie were picked by a selection committee from a group of 20 Irish finalists. One member of the selection committee was politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner, John Hume. The other 18 finalists were presented with silver medals and a personal award of €500.

Bonnie’s efforts in caring for sick and orphaned children earned her the award. A student at St. Louis High School in Rathmines, Dublin, she traveled to Tanzania for two weeks with the Forever Angels charity. She worked 13 hours each day, feeding, bathing, providing physiotherapy and playing with the children. She has also helped raise €1,600 for the organization.

Molly, who attends Victoria College in Belfast, was recognized for her volunteer work with Action Cancer.  An active member for six years, she founded and organized the “Sound of Action” concert in 2010. It earned £12,000 and is now an annual event held in Belfast. Molly has also worked with children abroad. In 2011, she traveled to India with the Global Schools Partnership and worked at a school in Dehra Dun.

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