300 cyclists in the wind and rain, covering 400 kilometres and raising €130,000 (and still counting) to fund home nursing care for 300 severely disabled children under the wing of the Jack & Jill Foundation. Such is the sheer grit, hard work and dedication of the Maynooth Students for Charity iconic Galway Cycle now in its 26th year. To put the €130,000 raised into context, according to Jack & Jill CEO and Founder Jonathan Irwin, “This tremendous effort raising €130,000 will fund at least 3 nights sleep for each of the 300 families supported by Jack & Jill, giving them peace of mind while they are sleeping that their sick child is being well cared for at home by a Jack & Jill nurse in the other room.”
The 300 cyclists started out on Friday 22nd March to cycle the 400 kilometre round trip from Maynooth to Galway despite severe weather conditions, stopping off only four times to rest and dry off to raise €130,000 for the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation. After spending Saturday 23rd March singing, dancing, juggling, shaking buckets and generally making a spectacle of themselves in Galway, the cyclists hopped back on their bikes with the support crew and braved the icy winds and rain weather conditions in a serious test of character and willpower in order to complete their challenge.
Tired cyclists with happy faces arrived back in Maynooth at 7pm to be met by a rousing reception from family, friends, Jack & Jill nurses and Jonathan Irwin, Founder and CEO of Jack & Jill along with Spike Nolan the Major of Kildare.
The Galway Cycle has already raised almost €900,000 for good causes since its humble beginnings in 1987!
The funds raised this year will go a long way to helping the Jack & Jill Foundation to provide home nursing care and support for children with severe neurological development issues, as well as offering respite to the parents and families of these children. Jack & Jill has supported over 1,600 families since 1997 including 86 families in Kildare, 96 in Galway and 387 in Dublin.
“There is a real sense of community helping community with The Galway Cycle and that’s what Jack & Jill is all about too. On behalf of all the families under our wing today, I want to say a big thank you to the cyclists, their crew and the college. We are so proud and honoured to be the recipient charity for this fantastic annual event and every cent raised will fund vital home nursing hours for sick children in every community in Ireland.”