There was a great buzz at Clondra Harbour on August 25 as a team of gardaí finished up El Camino Del Garda in aid of Little Blue Heroes Foundation.
The event was a three-day sponsored walk, which kicked off on August 23 with two teams of 25 serving gardaí walking the full lengths of both the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal.
The Royal Canal Team received a very warm welcome in Clondra on the evening of August 25, thanks to the Community Policing Unit in Longford.
“When I was made aware that this event was taking place, I contacted the event organiser, Garda Daniel Eccles and I informed him that Longford Community Gardaí wished to mark the conclusion of the event by organising some form of welcoming committee for the participants in recognition of the group’s efforts in raising funds for such a worthy cause,” said Community Garda Anthony Scanlon.
“Garda Eccles indicated that the group would be delighted if we wished to mark the occasion.”
Gda Scanlon made contact with Longford County Council, who were delighted to come on board to help with the organisation of a welcome event.
“Michael Nevin of Longford County Council provided invaluable assistance with this by organising that food and music would be in place at the Harbour to mark the occasion. A two piece band played on the harbour under Longford’s Live & Local banner,” said Gda Scanlon.
Gda Scanlon also requested that the Garda mounted unit would attend on the day, as well as two local children who are Honorary Garda members through the Little Blue Heroes Foundation.
Honorary Garda Darragh Hopkins from Killoe and Honorary Garda Zoe Cryan from Roscommon attended on the day, accompanied by their families.
On the day itself, the group were met at Kenagh Harbour by some local off duty Gardaí from Longford and Granard Garda stations who walked the last 15km leg of the event with their colleagues as a show of support.
When the group arrived at Clondra Harbour, they were escorted into the Harbour by the Garda Mounted Unit, where they were then welcomed to Longford by Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Peggy Nolan, who spoke at the event. A small presentation was made to the two Honorary Gardaí present, Darragh & Zoe.
“We have received excellent feedback from this event,” said Gda Scanlon.
“The children involved had a great day and were delighted with the little gifts they received. Total monies raised for the Little Blue Heroes Foundation by the members of the El Camino group was in the region of €16,000.”
Little Blue Heroes Foundation is a not-for-profit charity operated entirely by volunteers made up of Garda members and staff, retired Garda members, their families, friends and civic-minded people from communities.
It aims to help families in need from local communities in Ireland who have children undergoing long-term medical treatment for serious illness.
El Camino Del Garda initally set out to raise €10,000 on idonate.com. Donations surpassed that and raised over €15,500 for Little Blue Heroes Foundation.
Donations are being accepted until September 23 and can be made via https://bit.ly/3ta5ag8.
The event was held in compliance with all Nphet and HSE Covid guidelines.
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