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The voluntary fund-raising committee of the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Rochestown Avenue, in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin urgently requires items for its fete which takes place next Sunday. Books, toys, unwanted gifts, vouchers, stocks for bottle stall, sports goods, etc, would all be welcome, and should be new or in good condition. The committee has raised funds to build a Pre-Discharge Unit in the hospital grounds over the past two years. Donations can be left at the hospital, or collection can be arranged by contacting Kaye (01-285 4820), Andrea (01-235 0153), Phil (01-286 9668) or the hospital (01-285 4777).

The Central Remedial Clinic's "Santa Bear Appeal" takes place from Wednesday until Saturday this week. The CRC is a national centre for the care, treatment and development of more than 3,500 children and adults with physical disabilities, and its services are offered free of charge.

The CRC is calling on everyone to lend support in its effort to raise £175,000 by buying a bear or dropping a donation into one of the many collection points around the country. Alternatively, anyone with a few hours to spare can become a Santa Bear Helper and get his or her own supply to sell privately to friends, family and colleagues or at a local shopping centre. Further information on freephone 1800 612612.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will open an exhibition of original art work in Hedigans, Prospect Road, Glasnevin, Dublin this evening at 7 p.m. to raise funds for the North Dublin National School Project (NDNSP) in Glasnevin. The school, founded in 1984, fosters the belief that children of different cultures and religions should be educated together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding; a peace programme is a central and integral part of the school. The school has no building of its own, does not receive parish funds and is at present housed in buildings classified as substandard.

A site has now been purchased and the Department of Education and Science is funding 85 per cent of the cost of building; this leaves a shortfall of £500,000 for the NDNSP to raise. The exhibition continues until December 13th. Further information from Sally Shiels, Principal, (01) 8371620.

A carol service in aid of the Simon Community will take place to mark the end of the Irish Countrywomen's Association golden jubilee celebrations next Sunday in St Ann's Church, Dawson Street, Dublin, at 3 p.m. Canon Empey and Bishop Moriarty will preside. Tea and coffee will be served after the service.

Camphill Communities of Ireland, who work with handicapped people, are holding two Christmas craft fairs next Sunday. A large selection of craft products, including those made in the community, will be on sale, including candles, pottery, woven items, toys, cheeses, jams and cakes, at Camphill Community, Duncarrig, Gorey, Co Wexford, and at the Watergarden Coffee Shop and Garden, Ladywell Street, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny. Both fairs start at 2 p.m.

On Wednesday at 7.30 p.m. the MS Society (Northern Ireland Branch) in conjunction with the retail outlet Simply Irresistible will hosts a Christmas Fashion and Craft Show at the MS Society Headquarters, 34 Annadale Avenue, Belfast. Tickets at £5 are available from the society or telephone (0801232) 644914.

Paintings by Joan Llewellyn will be on sale in aid of Our Lady's Hospice, Harolds Cross, Dublin next Saturday and Sunday in St Laurence's Community Centre, Kilmacud (beside church), Dublin from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission free. Cheese and wine will be served.

A Christmas Carol Concert in aid of the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children and in memory of its former patron, Diana, Princess of Wales, takes place next Saturday in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast at 7.30 p.m. The concert will feature the Malcolm Sargent Concert Orchestra (N.I.) with conductor Leonard Puch and soloist Giselle Allen, as well as a choir of more than 500 voices drawn from school and adult choirs. Tickets from the Waterfront Hall are priced at £15, £12.50 and £10; tel: (0801232) 334455.