CHALLENGE CHEQUE: The 54321 Challenge 2019 raised €72,506 for three Kerry charities. Front from left are: Caroline Lynch, Denis Daly (Skellig Stars) Maura O’Sullivan (Kerry Hospice Foundation), Frank Heidtke (Dingle Coast and Cliff Rescue Service), and Maggie Teahan. Seated in second row from left are: Audrey Graham, TJ O’Connor, Tony Dunne and Catherine Foley. Standing at back row from left are: Ann Foley, Diarmuid Foley, John Falvey, Martin McCarthy, John O’Donoghue, Declan Sheehan, Maureen O’Sullivan Dennehy, Cian Higgins, Anne McCarthy, Michael Foley, Irene Heffernan and Pat Sullivan. Picture: Eamonn Keogh
It was yet again a mighty challenge but it was worth it as a whopping €72,506 was this week handed over to three Kerry charities.
On Saturday last, participants who took part in this year’s 54321 Challenge met in The Victoria House Hotel to present a cheque to this year’s selected charities; Skellig Stars, The Kerry Hospice and Dingle Coast and Cliff Rescue Service. This brings the amount raised to date by the 54321 Challenge to €206,712 for various Kerry charities.
This year’s 54321 Challenge took place from the August 22 – 25 with 37 people, the largest number of participants since the Challenge was started. It began from the GAA grounds in Killorglin and they cycled around the Ring of Kerry on day one.
This would exhaust most people but not these, as they were up early again the following day, travelled to the base of Carrauntoohil, and climbed Ireland’s highest mountain.
“The conditions on the day were challenging but the heads never went down,” one of the organisers, TJ O’Connor, said.
Having returned safe and sound from Friday’s challenge, on Saturday they once again took to the bicycles and cycled from Killarney to the foot of Mount Brandon and climbed it, the persistent rain throughout the climb did not dampen the spirits of this amazing bunch of people, they even sang a few songs and danced a set when they reached the top.
The challengers spent a welcome night in Dingle before embarking on the final day which was a cycle from Dingle to finish where it all started in Killarney where they received a hero’s welcome at the Gleneagle Hotel where supporters of all three charities gathered to welcome them home, followed by well-deserved drinks and pizzas at Kayne’s Bistro.
“It was a weekend of bonding, banter, singing, struggles, laughs but most of all a great sense of achievement in completing the challenge on a personal level and for three great causes for all the participants,” he added.
“On behalf of the Skellig Stars, The Kerry Hospice and Dingle Coast and Cliff Rescue Service and the 54321 Challenge team we would like to say thank you to all those who have sponsored and supported us along the way.”
The date for next year’s event will be confirmed shortly and they will be recruiting teams so if you would like to be part of next year’s Challenge or would like further information please call the event organisers Carole Moran on 087 9471336 or TJ O’Connor on 087 6277141.