Maggie wins ‘Spirit of Larne’

Rotary Club Vice President Mariann Casagrande, Maggie Taggart, President Gordon Cowie President and Rotary Treasurer Hazel Bell. INLT-24-700-con
Rotary Club Vice President Mariann Casagrande, Maggie Taggart, President Gordon Cowie President and Rotary Treasurer Hazel Bell. INLT-24-700-con

An inspirational Larne fundraiser who has raised around £200,000 in 15 years has been honoured with a Rotary Spirit of Larne Award.

Maggie Taggart, who is involved in several charity groups in the town, was presented with her certificate by Rotary Club of Larne President Gordon Cowie at a meeting on Thursday June 11.

Maggie, who was also runner up for the Rotary Inspirational Woman of the Year award in February, told the Times that the recent award had come as a “complete surprise.”

“I went to the meeting to collect the certificate for the February award and they gave me the other, which was quite emotional and humbling,” she revealed.

“I was nominated by Hazel Bell but it’s only thanks to the generosity of my friends, family and other people in the town that I have been able to raise so much for charity.”

Before her retirement two years ago, Maggie spent 36 years working as a radiographer at Moyle and Whiteabbey Hospitals.

Her charity fundraising work began 15 years ago, after she was shown a picture of Romanian orphans as part of an appeal by Blythswood Care, who she still fundraises for today.

The Larne native has since gone on to become Chairperson of Comfort and Care for the Terminally Ill (CACTI), a co-founder of the Prom Cafe Alzheimer’s Support Group, and fundraiser for the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust and Disability Sport NI. She also collects blankets for Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary and in the past fundraised for Action Cancer.

“I was always able to make time for the fundraising, even though I worked full-time until two year ago, as there is always someone who is worse off than you are,” said Maggie.

“We are lucky as a family, a lot of people aren’t and if we can help others in the slightest way then we will get pleasure out of that.

“I am very persistent, which is useful when you are fundraising.

“I like to beaver away in the background and don’t expect to be honoured like this.

“I would like to thank all the people who have helped me fundraise throughout the years. If it hadn’t been for the generosity of people in this town and the support of friends and family I couldn’t have done this,” she concluded.

President of Larne Rotary Club Gordon Cowie commented: “Maggie fundraises for numerous charities, she is an inspirational figure in the town and she is never recognised for it, she is very deserving of this award.”