Sky’s the limit for West Limerick fundraiser

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

A WEST Limerick man is scratching items off his ‘bucket list’ one by one in a bid to raise valuable funds for children’s hospital care.

A WEST Limerick man is scratching items off his ‘bucket list’ one by one in a bid to raise valuable funds for children’s hospital care.

Gerard Dore, aged 40, from Ballykenny, Strand has already jumped out of an aeroplane and run a marathon as part of his ‘multiple challenge’ to raise €3,000 for the Children’s Ark ward at the Mid Western Regional Hospital.

Now, he has set his sights on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing peak in the world.

“They’re things I’ve wanted to do for a while”, Gerard admitted. “I suppose you could call it my bucket list. My niece was in the Children’s Ark earlier this year for treatment, and I decided that would be a good charity to do it for.”

Gerard, who works for the Department of Education, began his challenge on October 6, when he jumped out of a plane with Skydive Ireland in Offaly. Last weekend, he took part in the Dublin Marathon and finished the gruelling 26-mile course in a modest three hours and 54 minutes.

Gerard admitted that he found his first marathon every bit as tough as he expected. “It was a bit of a last minute decision, but I was training with the West Limerick Athletic Club since the end of August, so I had some bit of work done. I’m not sure if I’ll do a marathon again, I’m a bit too sore from the knees down today to think about it!”

Next up for Gerard is a trip to Tanzania in December when he and a group of 20 other climbers will attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. While he was very much a novice sky diver and long distance runner, Gerard does know a thing or two about climbing.

“I’ve done some climbing in Borneo and New Zealand, but Mt Kilimanjaro will be the toughest one I’ll have done so far.”

In a bid to raise as much money for the Children’s Ark as possible, Gerard has set up a dedicated webpage, www.mycharity.ie/events/gerard_dore, and an account at the Bank of Ireland branch in Newcastle West, account number 16129693, sort code 90-43-76.

Gerard also plans to hold a fundraising event at the Red Door, Newcastle West on Friday, November 30.