BIKERS are the latest group of people to offer their active support to fund-raising for cystic fibrosis.
Next Sunday, bikers from all over Munster are going to take on the Three Ballingarrys, a 140 mile course which links all three of the province’s villages called Ballingarry. The run starts in Ballingarry, North Tipperary at 11.30, moves on to Ballingarry in South Tipperary and ends in Limerick’s Ballingarry about 4.30pm
“If we get 200 bikers, we will be over the moon,” said Liam O’Kelly of TLC4CF, the charity which is on course to raise €5m for a purpose-built unit for adults suffering from cystic fibrosis. Bikers clubs have been very generous in supporting the event, he continued, but it’s a case of the more the merrier. Bikers who want to take part, driving all or part of the course, simply have to register with an asking fee of €20 and €10 for pillion passengers. Many have also taken out sponsorship cards, Mr O’Kelly explained.
All the money from the run will help fit-out and equip the proposed CF unit at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital “We have about €500,000 to go,” Mr O’Kelly told the Limerick Leader this week. “But we have about 18 months to reach that target.”
Contractors moved on to the site in Limerick some weeks ago and it is expected that an official sod-turning ceremony will take place at the end of this month.
“We are almost there,” Mr O’Kelly grinned. “Our dream is becoming a reality and in the current climate we are really a good news story.”
The Three Ballingarrys will help bring that dream even closer and the organisers are appealing for support. “Please give these bike enthusiasts a big wave along the route,” Mr O’Kelly encouraged.
They also need some back-up on the day itself. “If you would like to help us in any way, we require some volunteer stewards at road points and we need to have volunteers in all three Ballingarrys to serve teas, coffees, sandwiches and goodies,” he added.
People have been fantastic in their support for TLC4CF since it was set up in September 2009, Mr O’Kelly said. TLC4CF stands for Tipperary, Limerick Clare for Cystic Fibrosis. The CF unit will take up two floors of a bigger building and TLC4CF’s share of the new-build and fitting out comes to just over €5m. €3m of this came from the JP McManus Trust but the remainder has been raised by voluntary effort. If you want to help or to join in Sunday’s run contact John Baker 086 8697383,Liam O’Kelly 086 2675963 or Valerie O’Kelly 086 2221746.