The community in Loch Gowna together with the support of the surrounding parishes including Mullinalaghta raised over €50,000 for cancer charities through their Movember campaign.
The shave off last weekend in White’s Bar saw the whole community gather together to give the final push towards raising as much money as possible - all of which was inspired by 14-month Abigail Reilly who was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumour last July. And her grandads were very much to the fore when it came to fundraising on the night, with John Reilly - who is renowned for his beard - being sponsored €1,500 to shave it off, while Christy McDowell raised over €1,000 to take the razor to his moustache.
Abilgail’s mother, Sharon said that the family and the community were overwhelmed by the support the campaign received , the monies from which will be donated to Aoibhean’s Pink Tie and Pallitive Care, Cavan. “It was so successful, everyone has been so good and generous and we are all delighted with the amount of money that was raised,” she said. “The money will be donated to two very deserving charities.”
Meanwhile the 14-month-old toddler is continuing with her treatment and everyone remains hopeful that she will come through this difficult time in her young life. When she attends Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin for her medical care, Abigail’s family avail of the services of Ronald McDonald House, which provides a home from home facility for the families of ill children. “This is a fantastic service, and the support that we as a family have received at Ronald McDonald House has been fantastic,” continued Sharon. “The organisation is completely dependent on donations and good will; we were also introduced to Aoibhean’s Pink Tie, at the hospital and this is another organisation that offers support to children and their families who are affected by cancer. They provide practical support for families who are going through what we are going through and it really means so much at a time like this.”
Two months ago, Mullinalaghta Vintage Club raised nearly €5,000 for the Ronald McDonald House from its charity tractor run, and organisers of the Movember campaign are confident that this year’s event was one of the biggest fundraisers for a long time in Co Cavan. “Last year we raised €6,000 for Palliative Care services and we wanted to get accross that figure this year,” said Cathaldus Hartin. “We didn’t set a target, but we wanted to do something big.”