Cyclists spin the wheels for Adare’s Alzheimers Centre

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

WHENEVER two forces for good meet, the results are likely to be terrific. And that is the hope for this year’s fundraising cycle organised by the Askeaton Touring Club whose chosen charity this time out is the Alzheimer Day Care Centre in Adare.

WHENEVER two forces for good meet, the results are likely to be terrific. And that is the hope for this year’s fundraising cycle organised by the Askeaton Touring Club whose chosen charity this time out is the Alzheimer Day Care Centre in Adare.

“People still get a buzz out of helping others,” says Jim O’Keeffe, one of the 100-plus cyclists who will saddle up for the cycle which takes place at the end of June.

And the club members know their efforts are both needed and appreciated. HSE funding of the Alzheimer Day Care Centre has been cut over the past number of years and the centre reckons at least €80,000 in voluntary funding is needed this year to meet the costs of providing services and of upgrading the building.

“The cycle is our major fundraiser this year,” Noreen O’Keeffe explains with feeling. And the centre is delighted and grateful to the Touring Club for their involvement. “It is amazing, when it comes to charity, people are very generous,” Ms O’Keeffe adds.

The cycle was launched this week to give the cyclists a chance to raise sponsorship. But the Alzheimer Centre is also looking for volunteer collectors for the weekend of the cycle itself. That takes place on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1.

The route this year, Jim O’Keeffe explains, will start in Askeaton, traveling via Croagh, Adare and Patrickswell before doing a lap of honour in Limerick and then continuing on via Annacotty to Dundrum where there will be an overnight. The route home the following day will be the same. “All the cyclists pay their own way and accommodation,” Mr O’Keeffe explains.

“Then they take sponsorship cards as well.”

And he, as well as Tom Paul at the centre, have urged people to volunteer as collectors.

The Adare centre opened in 1994 and now provides day care for more than 25 people with Alzheimers, transporting them to the centre and offering them a range of activities aimed at enhancing their quality of life. The centre also provides a home-care service with 14 specifically trained carers going into homes each day.

The centre has a small, dedicated staff but this is boosted by the work of more than 30 volunteers. “We have by far the biggest number of volunteers of any day centre,” Ms O’Keeffe says with justifiable pride.

Those who would like to help this year’s sponsored cycle should contact Tom Paul at 061-3396917 or 086-6006047.