Fund-raising bid 
is a piece of cake

Artist Neil Shawcross with project leader Michael Hunt, right, and John Kearns, MD Mills Selig
Artist Neil Shawcross with project leader Michael Hunt, right, and John Kearns, MD Mills Selig

THE work of famous Ulster artist Neil Shawcross is set to help a local businessman who has devised a creative project he hopes will raise £40,000 to build four new schools in Madagascar.

Working with the Belfast-based Adsum Foundation, Winemark director Michael Hunt is hoping the rest of the business community will dig deep to help even though times may be tight.

“In difficult times, the key to success can lie in finding great partners who will bring their specialist expertise together for the common good,” he said.

“The starting point for this project is a beautiful painting, entitled “A Piece of Cake” by one of Ulster’s best known and respected artists, Neil Shawcross. He has very generously gifted us a limited edition of 50 unique screen-prints of his work and we are planning to sell these really lovely pieces, beautifully mounted & framed, at only £400 each.”

Expressing his delight at the project, Adsum Foundation director Gavin Lonergan said the needs of the country were huge but relatively cheap to address.

“Basic infrastructure has suffered from chronic under-investment, and according to a recent estimate, the country needs 3000 primary schools just to meet current need.

“We’re delighted to partner with Michael and together we can address some of this urgent requirement. Using our own expertise and best construction practice available locally, we have managed to reduce the average cost of a good quality, three-classroom, cyclone-proof school to around $15,000 or £10,000.”

Adsum has agreed to match all donations, while Belfast law firm Mills Selig has agreed to pay for the framing of each print ensuring that 100 per cent of the money raised will go towards the building of schools.

“We’re delighted to support Michael on this excellent initiative,” said Mills Selig managing director John Kearns. “Our society is inclined to take education for granted, but in places like Madagascar, there is a desperate need for the most basic facilities.”