16 November 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
RTE’s Southern Editor Paschal Sheehy unveiled details of the 2015 edition of the annual Christmas Cracker Charity Cycle at a photo-call in the Friends of Marymount shop on Friday, Nov. 13th. The shop is located on Cork’s Oliver Plunkett St. – recently voted the best street in Ireland and Britain – and is a great source of support for Marymount Hospice. So too is the Christmas Cracker cycle and last year’s edition raised over 13,000 euro.
It saw more than two hundred cyclists take to their bikes for a choice of great routes through West Cork. Practically all had responded to the appeal to wear something festive and many had also decorated their bikes for the occasion. Organisers are hoping for an even greater response for the 2015 Christmas Cracker Cycle on Sat Dec 5th next and are appealing to cyclists of all experience levels to participate.
Paschal is no stranger to Charity Cycles and first became involved way back in 1998 when he donned his Santa Suit as part of Operation Rudolph. In launching the 2015 Christmas Cracker Paschal said “I’m delighted to help with this year’s Cycle and very much hope that loads of people will come out and enjoy the event. It could even kick-start their own run of events which they might enjoy for another twenty years or more while also helping raise funds for others who, very sadly, may not be afforded much more of a lifetime”.
Last year over 250 cyclists togged out in their best festive gear and took the scenic route through West Cork for the Christmas Cracker Cycle to raise money and have a bit of fun for charity. This year organisers are hoping for an even greater response for the 2015 Christmas Cracker Cycle on Saturday December 5th next and are appealing to cyclists of all experience levels to participate.
On the day of the Christmas Cracker Cycle participants have an option of a 6km Mini Cracker, a 65km Midi Cracker or a 100km Maxi Cracker route. Participants can take off at their own pace on their route of choice or they can join any of the mini pelotons which will pace around the routes at more moderate speeds. These options make it an ideal training spin for clubs as well as a great event for leisure cyclists. Mince pies will be served in Marymount Hospice on return and there’ll be a free raffle for participants as well as prizes for the best costume and for the most generous club.
Participants will be asked for a voluntary contribution to the chosen beneficiaries: Marymount Hospice and Laura Lynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice. The option of booking lunch will be extra as all monies collected will go to the beneficiaries. Participants can register from 8:15am at Marymount Hospice on Dec. 5th. The Mini Cracker will kick off at 9:30am and the Midi and Maxi Crackers will start at 10am. The organisers are appealing to participants in the longer cycles to await the return of all the Mini participants and to give a rousing welcome to potential future participants in longer cycles. Hearty mince pies will be served at Marymount Hospice to all cyclists on their return and all participants will be entered into a free raffle while prizes for the best festive costume and a separate prize for the most generous club will be presented.
Please note this event is weather dependent but there’s a back-up date (Saturday, December 12th) if conditions necessitate postponement. Check out the Marymount Hospice Facebook page for more information and updates.
Participants can park their cars in the Hospice Staff car park.
About the Routes:
1. Mini-Cracker: 6KM Marymount- Bishopstown – Curaheen – Marymount
2. Midi-Cracker: 65KM Marymount – Inishannon – Bandon – Crookstown – Marymount
3. Maxi-Cracker: 85KM Marymount – Inishannon – Bandon – Crookstown – Macroom -Coachford – Ballincollig-Marymount
About Marymount Hospice
Marymount Hospice provides a fully integrated programme of palliative care services including inpatient care, community-based care, day care and outpatient care.
The Hospice has to raise €2m annually in order to meet the demands placed on the service and monies raised from fundraising events such as the Christmas Cracker Cycle is vital to guarantee maintenance of their services.
If you require any further information please contact Dan Cowman, Chairman of The Friends of Marymount email@example.com
LauraLynn Ireland’s First Children’s Hospice opened in September 2011. In Ireland there are over 1,400 children with life limiting conditions. The LauraLynn House, operates a home away from home for families of sick children however they have no state funding and totally rely on continued support from community and corporate fundraisers.
For parents, the LauraLynn House, will give that much needed break – often as simple as a decent night’s sleep. It also supports healthy siblings, who are very much left out, when a sick child needs 24 hour care.