GAA clubs unite for an epic journey in aid of Marie Curie

GAA MARIE CURIE RI Farm
FUNDRAISERS: Members of McQuillans GAC Ballycastle and Carey Faughs GAC have been fundraising for Marie Curie.

McQUILLAN’S GAC Ballycastle and Carey Faughs have left their on-pitch rivalry to the side for a short time to unite forces to raise much-needed funds for Marie Curie.

The charity had issued an ‘Emergency Appeal’ due to Covid-19 putting fundraising on hold with funds for nurses and hospices being needed now more than ever.

Caoimhe McShane, McQuillan GAC Club PRO, said: “Both clubs have many members involved in the local Marie Curie group, so it made sense for us to work together to raise as much as we can for this much-needed service.

“Their biggest fundraiser takes place at the Lammas Fair and this 400 year tradition has also been cancelled due to the current pandemic.”

This incredible fundraiser has involved club members of all ages, as they use their daily exercise during lockdown, to clock up their kilometres by running, walking or cycling and posting this into their respective groups.

It had been originally planned for the squads to take on the challenge to race from ‘Fairhead to New York’, but such has been the response they arrived in New York in just three days, clocking up an amazing 5,855.71km, exceeding all expectations.

The organising committee said: “We decided to keep the challenge going and to continue on to Australia, adding a further 16,020km to the journey. There are so many of our younger members from both clubs out in Australia and they had already set up their own group out there clocking their distances and making donations, so we agreed it would be a nice touch to go on and ‘pick them up’, if only we were really able to take them home.”

This target was again smashed and the clubs made it to Sydney with five days to spare. The Ballycastle Club PRO vowed: “It was a real challenge to get back home again, but the groups within the clubs, not just the players but the ‘Carey Fit Club’ and our ‘Brighter Nights’ crew plus the committee and supporters groups, were all keen to keep going until the challenge was met, and that they did.”

Within the 14 day target that was set, they collectively covered a massive 40,592.93km through running, walking and cycling, a phenomenal effort. The equivalent distance of travelling from Fairhead to Sydney via New York and back home to Ballycastle again, with 2,463.93km to spare. That’s a lot of exercise!

The clubs had originally set a fundraising target of £2,000, however this amount has also been surpassed as well with over £16,000 pledged to support Marie Curie to date.

Winnie McGarry, the Treasurer of Marie Curie Moyle group, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response – the clubs came to us with this idea and the uptake has been brilliant; it has been fantastic and shows how generous everyone is in times of crisis, especially in these uncertain times, where there are many individuals and organisations in need.”

If you would like to contribute to the McQuillan’s GAC and Carey Faughs fundraiser for Marie Curie

go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fairheadnewyork

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