Why we’re closed tomorrow

Tomorrow (Wednesday, 28 October) Cullen Communications will be closed for business. Just like that. Middle of the week, busy Wednesday, and we won’t be around.

It’s all part of our ‘birthday’ celebrations. We haven’t made a huge deal about it, but this year we celebrate 30 years in business. It’s a pretty big milestone for us, all the more so since it comes at a time when the agency has successfully transitioned from founder Frank Cullen to current chief Owen Cullen. 30 years, it feels like something worth celebrating.

So earlier in the year, we were debating how to mark the milestone. Throw a massive party? Go for an unfeasibly lavish dinner? Hire a yacht and sail around Dublin Bay taking selfies and quaffing bubbly? All meritorious ideas and all came under serious consideration, for a while. But then… Why throw around money on ‘just’ a party? Do we really need to slap ourselves on the back? It just didn’t feel like us, and gradually we went off the party plan.

So here’s what we’re doing instead. Tomorrow the entire staff of the agency are heading off to Barretstown Camp in Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, where we’ll be spending the day painting, gardening, cleaning, tidying and helping out in any way we’re asked.

Barretstown is a specially designed camp that provides ‘therapeutic recreation’ for children with serious illnesses, and their families. It gives very sick kids a break from hospitals, white coats and relentless medical treatment; gives them a chance to just be kids again, having fun and making friends.

Barretstown was founded by the actor Paul Newman in 1994 and modelled on his famous ‘Hole in the Wall Gang Camp’ in Conneticut, USA. It helps kids affected by serious illness – mainly cancer and serious blood diseases – from Ireland, Britain and throughout Europe. It’s an amazing, inspiring place that has helped thousands and thousands of kids, and their families, to cope with the effects of devastating illness.

So if you’re looking for us tomorrow, that’s where we’ll be. We have volunteered for the full day and we’re going to give every single ounce of our collective energy to hopefully make a positive difference during the time that we’re there. We can’t wait, honestly. This is way more exciting than any party – it’s something we’ll talk about, and remember, and be proud of, for many years to come. Maybe even the next 30 years.

If you’re really looking for us, of course, we’ll all be available on mobile. We also have an associate on stand-by in case of emergency, so anything important will get dealt with in the normal way.

We’ll let you know how we got on later in the week!