They may have operated with reduced numbers this year, but, by any measurement, The Longest Day charity fundraiser has been a phenomenal success.
The organising committee, based at Tom McCarthy’s Central Bar has raised close to €70,000 from its three grueling events to date.
The Bumbleance children’s ambulance, the Jack and Jill Foundation and, this year, Pieta House have all benefited from the generosity of time and spirt of the organisers and the participants.
This was no stroll in the park for either the organising group or for those who took part. They usually saddled up and left Tom McCarthy’s Bar at the crack of dawn on each of the Saturday mornings over the past three years.
They cycled all the way to Cronin’s Yard at the butt of Carrauntoohil and climbed Ireland highest mountain. They came back down, remounted the bikes and cycled home. Then there was Tom’s legendary barbecue and party afterwards.
The news on the future of the event is that there’s no news yet.
The organisers are going to let the winter pass and think about it. They feel that the novelty of the event – and it had that in spades – may be diminishing with the passing years and the numbers were down by 45 this year.
Down But Not Out
“We’re down but we’re not out. We’ll take the winter to think about it and look at our options then in February or so,” said Tom McCarthy.
It was an idea, ironically, conceived in the depths of winter anyway. Tom McCarthy and his friend Denny Greaney were the main men who came forward with the plan in the first place. That was on the counter of the bar in the winter of 2013/14.
It may not be the Longest Day as we have known it but the ‘down but not out’ part of Tom McCarthy’s thinking at this point leaves one with the notion that the day is just entering a new phase. We’ll wait and see.
In the meantime, the success of the event as a fundraiser was celebrated at Tom’s with the third annual cheque presentation on Wednesday night.
Pieta House reveived a donation of €10,500 and their representative Johnny Togher gladly accepted the sum and thanked the benefactors.
So did the Castleisland based, Galway native, Mike Ward on behalf of the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team.
The committee always remember the men and women who apply their altruistic deeds on the mountains of Kerry and the service they provide to individuals and groups like theirs.
Anyone wishing to find out more about Pieta House can do so with a click on the link here: http://www.pieta.ie
The Kerry mountain Rescue Team website can be accessed at: http://kerrymountainrescue.ie
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