Sunday, December 16, 2007

Earn your Christmas dinner with a swim or run

Friday December 07 2007

By Peter GleesonYou can build up an appetite for your Christmas dinner this year by taking part in charity swimming, running, walking and cycling events in Nenagh.

By Peter Gleeson

You can build up an appetite for your Christmas dinner this year by taking part in charity swimming, running, walking and cycling events in Nenagh.

The annual Christmas Day swim in the cold waters of Lough Derg at Youghal Bay will take place again this year.

The event, which has raised tens of thousands of euro for charity since its inception, will start at 11am and finish at 12 noon.

Up to one hundred swimmers braved the cold water last year to raise a record €22,000 for worthy causes. This year it is hoped that a similar sum can be raised for the charities who have been chosen to benefit.

Meanwhile, Tony Hassett is organising his annual Christmas Day jaunt around the roads of Nenagh. Participants can run, walk or cycle to complete the 3.5 mile route to raise funds for the Nenagh Day Care Centre. The event starts at the CBS grounds at 11am.

The beneficiaries of the Christmas Day swim will be the Nenagh Friends of Chernobyl, Enable Ireland and a local campaign to create better health services in poverty stricken Tanzania. The Senior Citizens Group in Youghalarra will also receive a donation.

The Nenagh Friends of Chernobyl bring groups of children from Belarus to stay with host families in Nenagh for four weeks every year. The holiday gives the children from the nuclear disaster zone an opportunity to avail of fresh air and nourishing food, helping to improve their vulnerable immune systems. The group has also provided vital medical equipment for the children in their home country and is planning to bring another 22 children to Nenagh next summer. It will have to meet the €18,000 cost of the visit from its own funds as its activities are totally dependent on fundraising.

Enable Ireland is a national organisation that provides services for over 3,500 children and adults with disabilities nationwide. In North Tipperary the organisation, in partnership with the HSE, provides therapy services for children up to 18 as well as respite services for children and young adults with disabilities.

The organisation provides respite care for 140 children in our local communities and is now preparing to build an urgently needed respite centre on a site acquired in Nenagh. To date over €135,000 has been raised for the centre, but much more is needed.

Funds generated from the swim are also needed by a local group headed up by Willie Keane to complete a small hospital in Tanzania. The group has already raised €23,000 through a 200km walk around the shores of Lough Derg and the aim for the coming year is to raise over €50,000. The money will be presented to Fr Louis Sisti for the hospital.

A special Christmas Day swim account has been set up in the permanent-tsb bank in Nenagh for anyone who wishes to make a donation to any of the above causes.

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