A charity that has helped take more than 100 children with severe spinal conditions off a waiting list is getting supporters back on their bikes tomorrow in a bid to reach a fundraising target of €1m.
The Laurels Charity Crew, established in 2009 by two barmen and a group of friends in Clondalkin, has already raised approximately €860k for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and is its single biggest non-corporate donor.
Laurels bar manager Damien Long and head barman Denis McCarthy, were inspired to set up the charity following a successful spinal operation on the child of a local resident by Straight Ahead, a group of surgeons and medical and nursing staff who give their talent and time free of charge to provide life-changing operations for children with severe spinal conditions.
The children would otherwise face long waits for surgery, and the likelihood of more severe spinal curvature, known as scoliosis.
The Laurels hosts two annual events each year, a cycle from Galway to Dublin, and in the last two years, a Santa Cycle from the Phoenix Park to Clondalkin Village, as well as a Santa Cycle in Cork city.
The proceeds of the 2017 Cork Santa Cycle, €16,000, will be handed over, by cheque,to the Lord Mayor, Tony Fitzgerald, on the quay near Goldberg’s pub, Victoria Road, c7.30am in the morning.
The Cork cycle has already funded the purchase of a mobile orthopaedic scanner for the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) and this year funds will be used to cast children suffering with cerebral palsy and see the procurement of a casting table to help with scoliosis and hip care.
These include children attending SIVUH, Cork University Hospital and The Lavanagh centre, Enable Ireland, Ballintemple.The charity is also making a donation of €1,000, to Sonas. a Cork Autistic care school.
A Cork to Galway to Dublin cycle gets underway tomorrow, April 20, following the cheque presentation.
Dr Pat Kiely, one of the co-founders of Straight Ahead, said the Cork leg will involve around 30 cyclists while the main troop of more than 400 cyclists will travel from Galway to Dublin over the course of Saturday and Sunday.
To log onto Straight Ahead and make a donation see straightaheadireland.ie/