Make-A-Wish® Ireland has been announced as the Official Charity of the Horizon Irish Open until 2027, with the tournament’s title sponsor Horizon Therapeutics committing to long-term support of the charity which brings hope, strength and happiness to children with life-threatening conditions through granting their wishes.
The deal will see an annual fundraising drive at each of the next six editions of the island of Ireland’s national open, with Horizon promising to provide a match to the donations raised on site at Mount Juliet Estate for Make-A-Wish Ireland – which celebrates 30 years of granting wishes in Ireland.
To launch the partnership, Horizon and the DP World Tour have extended an invite for Peter McEnery – whose dreams came true as a 14-year-old by playing alongside Pádraig Harrington at the 2010 Irish Open thanks to Make-A-Wish Ireland – to play once again in this year’s Pro-Am alongside his golf hero.
McEnery, who lives with Cystic Fibrosis, was 14 years old when his wish came true to play alongside the three-time Major winner at Killarney Golf Club 12 years ago, when he also received a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience at the historic national open.
Now 26, McEnery is a four handicap golfer and credits his experience 12 years ago through Make-A-Wish Ireland as the primary reason for his continued love of the game. He will represent the charity at the Horizon Irish Open Pro-Am with the hope of raising awareness of its incredible work.
There will be multiple fundraising activations on site at the 2022 Horizon Irish Open, which takes place at Mount Juliet Estate from June 30 – July 3, including the Mega Putt Challenge in the Championship Village.
Fans will also be given the opportunity to donate when they purchase tickets for the tournament through the DP World Tour’s official ticketing website.
Timothy P. Walbert, Chairman, President and CEO, Horizon Therapeutics, said: “We are incredibly proud to introduce Make-A-Wish Ireland as the Official Charity of the Horizon Irish Open for the next six years.
“Having officially opened our new Dublin Headquarters today, one of Horizon’s key objectives as title sponsors of this great tournament is to make a difference to communities and worthy causes around Ireland, through the power of sport.
“Make-A-Wish Ireland does incredible work for children living with life-threatening conditions by making their dreams come true and providing them with hope and inspiration. We have partnered with Make-A-Wish Ireland for more than two years and are hopeful that this long-term commitment will continue to make a huge difference to so many children around the country.”
Susan McQuaid O’Dwyer, CEO of Make-A-Wish Ireland, said: “The longevity and magnitude of this partnership is hugely important for Make-A-Wish Ireland and, after a difficult couple of years due to the pandemic, it provides us with the stability to continue our hard work in inspiring children who really need hope and happiness in their lives. With hope, a child with a critical illness finds light in the darkness of their current circumstances. It transforms their perspective, replacing feelings of trauma with hope for tomorrow.
“We are extremely grateful to Horizon for choosing us as the Official Charity of this historic tournament. As we are not government-funded, Make-A-Wish relies on the incredible generosity of the Irish public as well as backers such as Horizon, and we look forward to changing the lives of many young children in the years ahead.”
Pádraig Harrington, an Ambassador for both Make-A-Wish Ireland and Horizon, said: “It’s great to hear that Make-A-Wish will be the Official Charity of the Horizon Irish Open for the next six years.
“My wife Caroline and I have been very proud ambassadors for Make-A-Wish for many years now and we have witnessed the incredible work they do in providing hope and strength to children with life-threatening conditions.
“I remember very well the day I met and played with Peter and it is truly inspiring to see how far he has come with his golf in the 12 years since Make-A-Wish made his dream come true. I look forward to playing alongside him again at this year’s Pro-Am and hopefully he will inspire other children who might be experiencing something similar to what he was going through at the time.”
Simon Alliss, the DP World Tour’s Championship Director for the Horizon Irish Open, said: “This is an incredibly positive announcement for the Horizon Irish Open and a meaningful commitment, and we thank our title sponsors Horizon for being the driving force behind this partnership.
“We have seen first hand the difference Make-A-Wish Ireland can make to children’s lives and we look forward to helping tell their wonderful story at the Horizon Irish Open this year and beyond.”
First played in 1927, the Horizon Irish Open is one of the world’s most famous national opens, boasting former champions such as Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Harrington, Bernhard Langer, Rory McIlroy, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal and Jon Rahm.
Mount Juliet last year hosted the island of Ireland’s national open for the first time since 1995 and for just the fourth time in the event’s history, with Australia’s Lucas Herbert triumphing in front of sell-out crowds at the County Kilkenny venue.
After that hugely successful hosting, the tournament returns to Mount Juliet this summer, with Sunday tickets already completely sold-out after unprecedented demand. Harrington will join his fellow countrymen Séamus Power and Shane Lowry in the field, with many more names to be announced in the coming weeks.