PICTURES | Almost €13,500 raised in Tractor Run for Ballymahon's Convent Day Care Centre

After such a long time in and out of lockdowns, with Covid regulations holding the entire community to ransom, it comes as no surprise that one of the first charity Tractor Runs of the season should see an influx of participants and supporters alike as people flocked to raise funds for the Convent Day Care Centre in Ballymahon.

As of Tuesday morning, Breda Greaves of Convent Day Care Centre was thrilled to reveal that €13,500 had been raised.

“And we’re not even finished yet. Darren (Mulledy) still has more to add to that, so it could be more,” she enthused.

Drivers began to arrive from 10.30am on Sunday morning at Finn’s Garage, who sponsored breakfast rolls and tea or coffee for participants.

By 12 noon everyone was ready to go, with gardaí ensuring everything ran smoothly. The route took participants through Ballymahon, Tang, Ballymore and back to Ballymahon, with the 18km run finishing up at Ballymahon GAA. There, drivers were treated to refreshments and a free entry to the raffle.

“We picked the right time of year to do it,” said Ms Greaves of the huge support for the local community event.

“People that had no interest in a tractor beforehand were out because it was somewhere to go and the clients at the Day Care Centre were delighted with the turnout.

“We only get sixty to seventy percent funding and then we have to match that ourselves, so this funding will go towards the upkeep of the facility and the activities, because the clients don’t have to pay for those.

“This funding will give us leeway to increase our variety of services and activities,” she was delighted to add.

“The community was fantastic. I was getting texts while on the run from people pledging money. It was really phenomenal.

“We had sponsors, we had donations, we had the raffle and we had registration and those were our four sources of income.

“Between the drivers, the public and the businesses, we had a fantastic event and on behalf of myself, the board of management, clients, staff and volunteers, we want to say a huge thank you to the whole community.

“Without them, this would not have been such a huge success.”

Organiser Darren Mulledy posted a huge thank you on the event’s Facebook page on Sunday, praising the entire community for its involvement.

“Both myself and Mike (Egan) would like to sincerely thank everyone for coming on board as main sponsors number one, businesses who gave raffle prizes, all the volunteers who helped with the paperwork, registration, sold tickets, served refreshments at both GAA clubs,” he said.

“Our motorbike marshalls and Emma (Kiernan), our Community Garda who kept us all safe. To the people who turned up on the day with their tractors, JCB and recovery trucks. Ye are all mighty people.

“It was a huge community event and the good will that’s out there is unreal. Community spirit is alive and well when it comes to our Day Care Centre.

“It was lovely to see all the people lining the route, cheering on and doing the tractor salute,” Mr Mulledy concluded.

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