Sunday 17 November 2019

No gain without pain at wheelchair bus benefit

Karen and Caoimhe Hayes
Karen and Caoimhe Hayes
Linda Furlong, Aidan Breen and Theresa Carley on rowing machines
Volunteers sweat it out at the fundraising event
Natasha Quigley and Grace Power

Brendan Keane

It was a case of exerting the maximum effort at a fundraising event in Wexford as members and supporters of the Wexford Wheelchair Association (WWA) took part in a 24-hour challenge at Performance Base gymnasium in Kerlogue to help raise money for a new bus.

Members of the Wexford WWA completed a strength and conditioning programme at Performance Base earlier in the year and following that the owner of the gym, Eamonn Murphy, approached the organisation with the idea of doing a fundraiser.

'It was on the back of that initial programme that Eamonn approached us with the idea of doing a fundraising event,' said Mary O'Connor, who works with the local IWA branch.

The overall cost of the new bus is expected to be around €30,000 and it's hoped that €5,000 will be raised from the 24-hour challenge when the final amount is tallied.

'We still have money coming in but at the moment it stands at €4,200 so we are hopeful we will reach our target,' said Ms O'Connor.

The aim of the challenge was to carry out 24,000 burpees and that task, which was carried out by Performance Base members, was exceeded with over 30,000 being completed while a rowathon also took place specifically involving IWA service users.

Ms O'Connor said there will be more fundraising events taking place in the coming months as the only way the organisation can reach its purchase price goal is through fundraising.

'At present we urgently need a new bus to support our members here in Wexford and our organisation doesn't receive any Government funding for transport,' she said.

'All of the money raised from this event will go towards the fund.'

She said having an additional bus in the county is vital for the WWA to expand its services throughout Wexford. She added that transport provision is one of many areas with which her organisation supports its service users.

Specially commissioned t-shirts were printed to mark the occasion and were given to service users and participants on the day.

'We hope to have the bus on the road next year,' said Ms O'Connor.

'That's our goal and what our fundraising is working towards.'

Wexford People

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