TEN hardy walkers who responded to an advert in our sister newspaper the Limerick Chronicle have raised more than €24,000 for the Children’s Ark Unit at the regional hospital.
After the Children’s Ark Unit sought people to scale Mount Kilimanjaro while raising crucial funds for the charity, which exists to support youngsters with serious medical conditions.
The trekkers had to raise all the money to travel themselves, while in order to support the hospital, they took part in a variety of fundraising activities.
These included benefits nights, and bag packing at the city’s various supermarkets.
With two more of these still to come, it is hoped that the total figure will be over €30,000.
One of the trekkers Mike Hayes, Raheen, said scaling the 19,000 foot mountain was one of the best experiences of his life.
“People asked me how it felt to be walking up there. I think you really have to experience it yourself,” he said.
One of the funniest moments, he said, came when the trek was complete, and the flight which took them from Tanzania back to Nairobi airport flew below the area they had walked.
“It was an opportunity which came up at the right time for most of the people who got involved, so it was a great trip,” he said, adding he was in training for three months beforehand.
The money they raise will make a massive difference to the Children’s Ark Unit at the Dooradoyle hospital.
For Mike, the sheer scale of what they had raised was confirmed when they presented the cheque.
“The smallest machine they need costs €5,000. The night we handed over the cheque, the surgeon had two machines employed. Now, he would be able to purchase one of them, so this is going to make a huge difference,” he explained.
The money they raise will also go towards building a parents room in the unit for the relatives of long term patients.
This will allow them to be comfortable when visiting their young ones. Mike extended a thanks to the businesses in the Raheen/Dooradoyle area who gave spot prizes and helped run fundraisers.