€66,000 for three North West 10k charities

Chairperson Neil Martin presenting cheques for 22,000 euros each to Jonny Stewart (Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Ireland (Donegal Branch), Mairead Farren and Charlie Gildea (Donegal Diabetes Parents Support Group) and Johnny Loughrey (No Barriers Foundation) in the Mount Errigal Hotel on Monday night.

Three North West 10k charities were presented with cheques totalling €66,000 on Monday night in the Mount Errigal Hotel. The figure means that the charity run and walk has now hit the €900,000 mark in the 25th anniversary year. North West 10k Chairperson Neil Martin said it was fantastic to be able to present €22,000 each to three very worthy causes in the Donegal Branch of Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Ireland, the Donegal Diabetes Parents Support Group and the No Barriers Foundation.

He added that it was fitting that the presentations should take place again in the Mount Errigal Hotel because it was there that the first committee was formed in the winter of 1996. This year the 25th anniversary event took place on the Bank Holiday Monday May 2nd 2022. It was the first time for it to take place on a Monday. The new Mayor of Letterkenny, Cllr Donal Kelly and fellow Cllrs Donal Coyle and Jimmy Kavanagh were present for the event. The Council has been a very good supporter of the North West 10k down the years as has the Letterkenny Chamber who have been there from the start in 1997.

On behalf of the Donegal Branch of Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Ireland, Jonny Stewart said the proceeds would be used for family respite care, travel to hospital appointments and the provision of extra equipment aids where necessary. Mairead Farren said the Donegal Diabetes Parents Support Group would put the money towards research into Type 1 diabetes. Representing the No Barriers Foundation Marina Kennedy-Quick said the 22,000 euros would help complete the funding to purchase a second Exoskeletal Suit which would be so important to enhance their growing demand for the specialist neurological equipment which allows anyone with a disability to train and improve their current level of physical and mental health by targeting mobility, strength and physical fitness regardless of their current baseline.

Neil Martin mentioned the first North West 10k Chairperson Charlie Kelly who was unable to attend on Monday night. He had led the first committee that took over from the Rockhill 10k in 1996. So now 25 years later 36 charities have benefitted to the tune of €900,000 euros from the North West 10k. Mr Martin paid tribute to all the committees who had given sterling service to the North West 10 since the first event was held on the 10th of May 1997 in Letterkenny.

“I want to acknowledge the work of all the committees since 1997 under the Chairpersons Charlie Kelly, Grace Boyle, James Boyle and myself for the past six years.

To mark the 25th year we put together a commemorative booklet that charts a series of standout moments along with significant statistics and images from 1997 to the present day. As part of the anniversary celebrations there was a souvenir t-shirt guaranteed for everyone who entered and also a medallion on the day for participants.

I want to thank all the sponsors who have supported the North West 10k down the years. We are very grateful to have five sponsors this year again in DonegalDaily, Brian McCormick InterSport, Century Cinemas, the Mount Errigal Hotel and the Value Centre. The Council, the Letterkenny Chamber have been great supporters of what we do and I know that will continue going forward. The Letterkenny Community Centre has been the hub for all 25 charity runs and walks so we are indebted to Liam O’Donnell and his team for their assistance.”

Mr Martin said every year the North 10k is first and foremost about the charities and in 2022 the proceeds are going to three very worthy causes in the Donegal Branch for Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus, the Donegal Diabetes Parents Support Group and the No Barriers Foundation. “They have worked very hard together on a range of additional fundraising initiatives that have substantially boosted the money raised on the actual day of the North West 10k on May 2nd.

It takes a huge voluntary effort to host our charity event. First of all there is our committee who all bring different skills in the pre-planning phase and then making sure everything goes to schedule on the day with safety of everyone paramount. We have a team of stewards and marshalls who are loyal to the Northwest 10k and their experience is invaluable making the route as safe as possible for the participants. We are indebted to the Gardai who advise and support us on the day. I would like to thank Sergeant Eunan Walsh and his team for all their help. The Red Cross are with us every year and that is so important in the event that someone needs medical assistance.”

The current North West committee’s input was also acknowledged by the Chairperson. “ I want to thank my committee for their endeavours since we started planning for the 25th back last September. Because it was a special milestone there has been extra work involved. We have a very dedicated team who have worked diligently and the reward of those endeavours is here for all to see tonight with €66,000 raised and that brings us now to the €900,000 mark since it all started back in 1997. I am absolutely delighted to be presenting the fabulous figure of €22,000 each to the three charities” Mr Martin concluded.

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