Harris Walk raises €33,495 for local charities

Pauline Scott Organisers of the annual Barrie Harris walk in Creggs distributed €31,000 to different charities at a function in O’Roarke’s bar on Saturday night last. The 2007 event raised a total of €33,495. €31,000 was in by Friday, when drafts were drawn down for the presentation, but a further €2,495 came in during the last 24 hours and organisers have yet to decide how that is to be distributed.  Bina Harris thanked everyone who had contributed to the walk, the organisers, John Kelly for the signs, the Roarke brothers for work on the route, Mary and Tommy Devaney for their hospitality and all who contributed to the event. Committee Chairman, Michael Roarke noted that on Friday over €30,000 had been raised and that fund was rounded to €31,000 by John Crean and Gerry Dervin. A further €2,495 was received in the 24 hours before the presentation. €1,000 was presented to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, €500 to Ability West, which was accepted by local woman Nora Blighe who has raised funds for the charity for 34 years. Geraldine Coyne of Cuisle accepted a cheque for €500 for Cuisle. She noted that a local couple had their wedding reception in Cuisle the previous night and congratulated them. She also added that the funds will be put towards a hydrotherapy room at Cuisle. Mary Noone accepted a cheque for €1,000 for the Irish Haemophilia Association, noting that her son Declan was currently in Barrettstown working with sick Children. Volunteer Services Abroad received €1,000 and that was accepted by Colin O’Roarke, who thanked Bina and the committee for giving the money to the charity. He told guests that VSA was set up in 1971 and every year medical students go to the developing world. This year, Colin will be one of 28 medical students going to Tanzania. To date, they have raised €160,000 and that will be spent on whatever is necessary for the hospital they will be working in. He noted that last year’s students spent the money installing water in the hospital and also installed the hospital’s only toilet. There are no doctors in the hospital, which is run by nuns, so the student doctors will be the only doctors available. JP McGeeney accepted a cheque for €1,000 on behalf of his son Kevin and said that the money will be used for an orphanage in Johannesburg. Tom O’Brien accepted a cheque for €1,500 which is going towards the work done by his sister Margaret O’Brien in Africa. He paid tribute to the late Barrie Harris, saying he was a great character, an Englishman who came to live in the area and got involved in a ceili band and who had a great impact on the place.  A cheque for €1,500 for Galway Hospice was accepted by Collette Dodd, who noted that Galway Hospice has received over €9,000 from the Barrie Harris Walk since it started. The money will be used to fund the homecare service.  Margaret Coakley accepted a cheque for €2,000 for Mayo Roscommon Hospice. She said that the money will be put towards the fund for a new eight bed cancer unit in Roscommon. The unit in Roscommon and another in Castlebar will cost €22 million, half of which will have to be raised by the charity organisation. A cheque for €2,000 for Roscommon Special Olympics Sports Club was accepted by Aoife and Sorcha Hegarty. Aoife thanked the organising committee and especially Bina, on behalf of the Special Olympics Club.  Monica Finn accepted a cheque for €3,000 for the Irish Kidney Association. She said that the money will be used for a ten-bed nit at Beaumont Hospital which is being funded by the Irish Kidney Association. The unit will be used for patients and their families to stay in Dublin. Helen Dempsey accepted a cheque for €3,000 for the Roscommon Wheelchair Association and she said that the money will be used for a holiday for wheelchair users. Rosemary Trayers accepted a cheque for €2,000 for Nurses to Calcutta. It is 11 years since Rosemary worked in Calcutta and she still keeps in touch with Jessica, who was aged 15 when Rosemary was there. Jessica now has a home of her own and continues to write to Bina. Evelyn Curley accepted a cheque for €3,500 on behalf of Daffodil Nurses.  She paid tribute to the sixth class pupils at Creggs NS who raised €1,550 through a coffee morning.  Kevin Igoe accepted a cheque for €3,500 on behalf of the Lourdes Invalid Fund and he thanked all involved for the generous donation. The last cheque of the night was presented to Mary Leyden, a cheque for €4,000 for the Roscommon Association for people with special needs. She thanked all involved and said that while there are more services for people with special needs, many extra things need to be done, including respite for families.  Last October, the Barrie Harris Walk was launched by Frank Brandon and he was on hand on Saturday night to wrap up proceedings and provided a fitting poem for the occasion. Castlerea man Danny Burke had the last word when he was called upon to sing and duly obliged.