THREE separate fundraisers held by Shannon Airport staff over the last 12 months have raised €26,000 for the Samaritans.
Sharing the windfall is the Limerick branch after the Samaritans was designated as Shannon’s charity of the year for 2014.
Some €17,000 of the total was raised on July 4 through a “night run” of 5km along a floodlit track on the runway which attracted 1,000 runners and generous sponsorship from Bank of Ireland. This was the first event of its kind at an Irish airport.
Shannon staff also endured a 175km cycle from King John’s Castle to the Cliffs of Moher and back to the airport in appalling weather in May.
And the other fundraiser saw accordion queen Sharon Shannon play to over 900 people in the terminal building last December.
Niall Maloney, operations manager at Shannon, was centrally involved in the campaign and said staff had managed to enjoy themselves along the way in raising a significant sum for Samaritans.
“They really went to great personal lengths at a voluntary level to raise this money but had a lot of fun in doing so. We mightn’t have thought that way at times, certainly not with the wind and rain beating into our faces on the cycle. But when you get to hand over €26,000 to a charity like the Samaritans, there’s a great sense of reward,” said Mr Maloney.
Said Rose Hally, Bank of Ireland senior business manager for Clare: “the runway run was such a novel event and there was an amazing atmosphere on the night. We were delighted to support it, not least with the funds going to such a worthy cause in the Samaritans but also because it was such an innovative event, in keeping with the great traditions at the airport”.
And Andrew Murphy, commercial director, Shannon Airport, said the airport was indebted in the best possible way to the Bank of Ireland “for their support for this event as without it we would not be in the position today to present such a significant cheque to the Samaritans”.