A static cycle to raise some much needed cash for the local Lourdes Invalid Fund brought the entire community together in Granard recently.
The cycle which aimed to accumulate the distance as the crow flies - 1,500km - from the north Longford town to the holy shrine of Lourdes in the South of France, exceeded all expectations on the day and organisers say that at this stage they estimate that approximately €5,000 was raised from the event.
The bicycles for the fundraiser were placed outside JV’s Bar and members of the local community and the business world joined forces throughout the day where they eventually reached 3,000km - double the initial target.
“It was a very successful event and 200 or 300 people took part over the course of the day,” organiser Jimmy Brady told the Leader. “The idea was that we would cycle the distance from Granard to Lourdes as the crow flies, but we exceeded all our expectations and ended up cycling 3,000km. The support that we got from everyone was fantastic and we raised between €4,000 and €5,000 as a result.”
The Lourdes Invalid Fund in Granard plays a pivotal role in the north Longford community. Each year it enables members of the parish who are suffering from ill health with an opportunity to travel to the shrine where it is believed that Our Lady appeared to St Bernadette. There they can receive special blessings and return home with hope for a brighter future. Fundraising is a huge part of the fund and as Mr Brady pointed out, it is the “generosity of people” that enables the committee to keep going.
“We would not be able to do this without everyone’s support,” he continued. “Throughout the whole day, people from the community and local businesses came along and cycled for a while; they would hop off and someone else was there to get on - it was great to see. All this support ensures that people who are sick in our parish will be given an opportunity to go to Lourdes and that means a lot to them.”
Next month a cycle takes place from Longford to Croagh Patrick for the Granard Lourdes Invalid Fund. On June 1, the community will be out in force for the cycle and once they reach their destination, they will then climb the peak. The trip to Lourdes takes place the first week in August and it is the spiritual director, Fr Simon Cadam who will oversee proceedings.
“I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for all their help and support last weekend, and I also want to thank the local gardaí for all their help on the day as well,” concluded Mr Brady.