|The Walkers on Market Square Castlebar. Pic: Michael Donnelly.|
Over €12,000 euro was raised yesterday Sunday 2nd January 2005 during a 3 mile walk around the town of Castlebar. Co. Mayo, for the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund. Townspeople turned out in their droves upon hearing about the walk from text messaging, word of mouth, radio, mass and pub announcements. Traffic was brought to a standstill by the walk which was organised in two days and was opened by the Mayor of Castlebar, Johnny Mee. By three o’clock the crowd had swollen to about 400 walkers many of whom reported feeling that this was relieving the sense of helplessness felt from watching the scale of the disaster unfold on our televisions. As the walkers passed, lines of cars built up in on Castlebar Ring Road, as well as other parts of the town and as cars slowed, windows were rolled down and cash was donated in spontaneous gestures of generosity and solidarity.
Organisers said they were overwhelmed by the reaction of local people and the generosity of everyone on the route. The event only took about 48 hours to pull together. Said Ruth Phelan, one of the organisers “it was amazing how many people wanted to take part as soon as they heard about it”. Another organiser Ernestine Duffy said “the people of Castlebar showed great community spirit and compassion for those in crisis in South East Asia”.
The organisers Ernestine Duffy, Ruth Phelan and Karen Brett would like to thank all of those who gave their time, resources and cash to the event. All proceeds are being donated to the Red Cross.
Many thanks also for media coverage given.
As a final word, due to the level of support shown by ordinary people for this cause and the desperate need for help, the organisers strongly encourage anyone who has a fund raising idea to go ahead and do it. Yesterday's €12,000 euro in 1½ hours proves how eager people are to donate to this cause which has so shocked the world.
Again, much appreciation for your support,
If you wish to donate money to support the effort of the walkers you can contact the organisers: Karen Brett (087) 9516047, Ruth Phelan (087) 6970387 or Ernestine Duffy (087) 2230438.