Not only did this year’s inaugural Relay for Life Donegal raise more than three times the organisers’ fundraising goal, but teams have already registered for next year’s event.
The Irish Cancer Society fundraiser drew thousands of people to the Letterkenny Institute of Technology on May 26th-27th, for a 24-hour relay that raised €346,759 for cancer services and research.
“We were hoping for €100,000,” said Brighdin Carr, chairperson of the entertainment committee for the event. “It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?”
“All those wee fundraisers -- 200 here and 400 there -- they really add up,” she said.
Up to 300 people, including members of the 71 relay teams, cancer survivors, committee members and other volunteers, gathered at the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny on Friday for an evening intended as a thank-you to everyone who took part in the fundraiser.
John McCormack, chief executive officer of the Irish Cancer Society, was there to accept the cheque from the committee.
The 2013 Relay for Life will be held May 25th-26th in Letterkenny, at a venue to be confirmed, Relay for Life committee chairperson, Robert O’Connor, said. He said 11 teams have already signed up.
This year’s relay “was a tremendous effort on behalf of all the people of Donegal who supported the Relay for Life,” Robert said. Singer Daniel O’Donnell has also donated the full sale proceeds and royalties for 12 months for his new charity single, “I’ll See This Journey Through.”
“The cancer services in Donegal are vital and almost two-thirds of this money will be spent on services in Donegal,” Robert said. The other third will be spent on research, he said.
Committee members include Ena Barrett, Bernie Gallagher, Garvan McCloskey, Hazel Russell, Seamus Devine, Anne Condon, Grace Mulligan, Ann Sheridan, Caroline Sweeney and Drew Corry. Lorna Bradley, though not a committee member, coordinated the treatments that were provided free to cancer survivors at the relay.