AFTER thousands of kilometres and almost €150,000 raised the 12th and last Cliona’s Foundation Cycle took place on Saturday.
All ages – from as young as four to the young at heart – set off from Bruff Rugby Club on the 10km, 40km or 90km routes. Brendan and Terry Ring started Cliona’s Foundation to provides financial assistance to parents of very ill children to help with non-medical expenses related to caring for their child. Up to 700 families have been supported.
Sadly the Lough Gur couple have personal experience after their beloved daughter Cliona died from a brain tumour in 2006 aged 16. Brendan said Cliona was very much in his thoughts on Saturday as he pedalled on the last cycle.
“We started the cycle for her 12 years ago. It was not an easy decision to make but it is the best for the charity. Personally, while I was cycling I thought about her, which I do all the time, but more so on Saturday. That is the sad thing about the cycle, it is only there because of Cliona’s death,” said Brendan. They wanted to go out on a high, he said. Fundraising will continue in many aspects for Cliona’s Foundation.
“As we are speaking we are currently working on another fundraiser and we have a number of them between now and the end of the year. It is not by any means a sign of the charity weakening, we are actually growing not just in Limerick but on a national scale. It is not that we want to be a national charity it is just where ever there are sick children we want to be able to help them,” said Brendan. The €5,000 collected on Saturday, including €1,500 from Cycle 4 Sick Children, brings the total over the 12 years to €150,000.
“I think it is always important to leave very good memories of events with the public because it is the charity they remember. The charity is going from strength to strength so we want to ensure anything we do with it continues in that vein. We didn’t want a situation where people would say ‘the cycle wasn’t great’. We never heard that thankfully. People were hugely disappointed it wasn’t continuing,” said Brendan.
One man who had done all 12 told Brendan it was always the best organised cycle he did all year. “It wouldn’t have been successful without one man - Trevor Daly. He made us look good on the day. He should take all the accolades for all the years of its success,” said Brendan.