ON Saturday, September 7,
Rachael McMinn, Lois Bing-ham, Roberta Simmons, Matthew Murphy, Colin McMinn, Jonny Adams, John McCabe, Gareth Hanna, Hannah Cromie, Stephen Gordon, Ella McCallister and Gareth McCabe set off from Rathfriland Young Farmers Club hall to embark on their 75km cycle celebrating 75 years of Rathfriland YFC.
The cycle left Rathfriland and passed through Castlewellan, Newcastle, Annalong, Kilkeel, Ros-trevor, Warrenpoint and on to the Southern Area Hospice (St Johns House) in Newry.
The 75km cycle saw the volunteers battle gruelling hills throughout the Mourne Coastal Route all in aid of a fantastic cause.
The club would like to thank everyone who made this day possible, including Cloughmor Ad-venture Centre for its co-operation and lend of the bicycles at very short notice; Vera and Ernie, Rathfriland, for providing the most delicious breakfast, setting riders up for
the day; to The Barbican, Annalong, for a beautiful lunch and very generous donation; Gilfresh Produce for providing the tractor for Simon Agnew to set the pace with as well
as the very kind and generous donation.
Thanks also to the parents who drove behind the cyclists as a safety vehicle and the bucket collectors who stood in each town lifting money. To the cyclists themselves who gave up their time and energy cycling the tough route and last but not least a massive thank you to every member of the public who has donated to this cause so far!
A club spokesman said: “The Southern Area Hospice Services has provided invaluable support to our community and thus we are delighted to have them as our partner charity for such a milestone year.”
The club now looks forward to its 75th Anniversary dinner to be held on Saturday, October 19, in the Belmont Hotel, Banbridge. Tickets are currently on sale at £35 to include Drinks Reception, three course meal and music by the fantastic Untouchables band. They can be purchased by contacting Stephen Gordon (Club Leader) on 07871 039833.
If any member of the public has past memorabilia from the club that they would like to display on the night of the dinner, it would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact Lois Bingham on 07842 500186.
If any business would like to provide a raffle prize or sponsorship for the evening, you can do so by contacting Lois Bingham on 07842 500186.
Any donation will receive publicity in local, national and farming/business press as well as a mention in the 75th Anniversary programme which will be distributed on the evening of the dinner.
At the end of its 75th year the club will have a monetary presentation to the Southern Area Hospice which will be a proportion of proceeds raised through the various events it proposes to hold throughout the year.
In further news, Rathfriland YFC held its New Members Night on Monday, September 9. After a busy weekend the club was delighted to welcome 15 new members. The evening included ice breaker games, information on the club and the YFCU as an organisation and was rounded off in the usual way, with a delicious pizza supper.
It is not too late to join, you can still do so if you are aged between 12-30, have an interest in making lifelong friends and want to join the best rural youth organisation in Northern Ireland.