A marathon vintage tractor run spanning four counties and over 250km in aid of Cancer Care West and the Maura Burke Memorial Fund, in partnership with Ballinderreen GAA Club - will take place on the weekend of Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8.
A convoy of vintage tractors will undertake the gruelling drive from Letterkenny Cancer Care West Support Centre on Saturday morning through counties Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, and Galway before arriving home in Ballinderreen at 1pm on Sunday.
The classic fleet, made up of two relay crews, will make six one-hour stops along the route to fundraise. These include McElhinney’s in Ballybofey at 9am; Donegal Service Station, Donegal town at 11am, Centra Ballyshannon at 1pm, Mullins Foodstores, Sligo at 1.30pm; McHugh’s Service Station, Ballindine at 4 pm, and Corrib Oil Tuam at 9am on Sunday.
The crews will rest overnight before embarking on the final leg of their journey from Corrib Oil, Tuam at 10am on Sunday to Ballinderreen at 1pm. The homecoming on Sunday is timed to coincide with the finale of a series of fundraising events that form part of a local record-breaking 24-hour campaign - ‘One Day to Make a Difference’ - undertaken by Ballinderreen GAA Club members.
These include a challenge game between Senior county hurling teams Galway and Clare that kicks off at 1pm on Saturday. At the same time, volunteers, including individuals, local groups and businesses, will begin a 24-hour challenge of walking the track at Ballinderreen GAA Club while keeping a torch alight in memory of those who lost their lives to cancer. Other fundraising events include trad sessions, a comedy show, fitness events, a haircut challenge, a monster raffle and more.
The Maura Burke Memorial fund was established in 2007 in memory of Kilcolgan woman Maura Burke who was a prominent and much-loved member of the Ballindereen GAA Club and the community.
Maura sadly passed away in 2006 after a long battle with cancer. Her family and friends continue to keep her memory alive through supporting Cancer Care West, the West of Ireland cancer charity that provides a range of supports to anyone affected by cancer. To date the fund has raised over €250K.
Commenting on the joint fundraising initiative Richard Flaherty CEO of Cancer Care West stated: "We are delighted to be associated with this fundraising initiative. The Maura Burke Memorial fund has been very strong supporters of our charity through the years.
"One of our rooms at our Lodge - Inis Aoibhinn - is named in memory of Maura. All our services are offered free of charge to cancer patients and their families, and this is only made possible through the support we get from families like the Burke family and local communities such as Ballinderreen. Last year we provided support to over 3,400 people affected by cancer in our community.”
Padraig Burke of the Maura Burke fund said Cancer Care West provides immeasurable support to anyone whose life has been affected by cancer, adding: "We are delighted and proud to support Cancer Care West in the great work they do for patients and their families. They walk what is already a difficult road with people and make life that bit easier. We hope that this fundraiser will shine a light on all the wonderful work they do in this region.”
To find out more about the events taking place and how to support, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/ballinderreen.hurlingpro/