Most sailing folk in Ireland and abroad will know Dave Cullen as the amiable yet very determined owner-skipper of the immaculately-maintained and precision-campaigned Half Ton Classic Checkmate XV, the current World Champion writes W M Nixon.
But if you are anywhere within the orbit of his home club of Howth, you’ll know there’s another side to Dave. He is a formidably successful one-man charitable fund-raising organisation, the highlight of his activities in this area being an annual (and always booked-out) lunch in Howth Yacht Club which sees the Christmas season off to a flying start.
2018’s was held on Friday. And it marked ten years of Dave’s determined staging of this mega-event, with the money raised over the magic decade for various highly-regarded organisations soaring through the €100,000 mark.
This time round, the beneficiary was Vincent de Paul for the first time. But Dave spreads the net wide, and other charities which have come within his benevolent scope have included Laura Lynn, the Bobby Bastow Cancer Fund, the Bombolulu Primary School project in Mombasa, St Francis Hospice, and the Joe English Trust.
To help him in his good work, he recruits star sporting speakers such as Harry Cudmore, Eddie Warden Owen, Ian Walker, and Isac Boss, while lively auctions are another part of the mix. Everybody has a good time, and at the end of it there’s a substantial donation to the charity of the year.
But Dave Cullen’s interest doesn’t stop there – he is known to quietly get on with follow-up support for some of the smaller organisations which have attracted his interest. And as for how to run a show like this and where to source the necessary equipment - as he does it all himself, he is an immediate and generous fount of information for anyone seeking to do the same.