independent

Sunday 23 September 2018

Mallow raft run ready to return to Easter Sunday

The ‘Hairy Army’ team of Mick Flynn, Abby Buckley, Ciara Fitzpatrick, Leanne Flynn, JJ Shanahan, Faith Donnelly and Aoibheann Daly getting ready to head out on the River Blackwater ahead of last year’s Mallow Seach & Rescue Raft Run
The ‘Hairy Army’ team of Mick Flynn, Abby Buckley, Ciara Fitzpatrick, Leanne Flynn, JJ Shanahan, Faith Donnelly and Aoibheann Daly getting ready to head out on the River Blackwater ahead of last year’s Mallow Seach & Rescue Raft Run

Bill Browne

Entry forms are now available for the annual Mallow Search & Rescue Raft Run, which will this year revert back to its traditional date on Easter Sunday (April 1). 

Now in its 20th year the fun event, which is the units principal annual fundraiser, always attracts a colourful flotilla of weird and wonderful craft attempting t0 'conquer the current' along a seven-mile stretch of the River Blackwater from Mallow Bridge to Killavullen. 

Unit PRO Willie Walsh said that as this year marks two decades of the event, they are hoping for a huge turnout on the day making it "and event to remember." 

"On behalf of the unit I would like to thank all of the local clubs and businesses that regularly participate every year and we hope to see them again on Easter Sunday. Those who have never taken part in the run then you might consider entering a raft this year," said Mr Walsh. 

"It really is a brilliant occasion and you are guaranteed of an action-packed day of fun on the river in aid of a great cause. There is no entry fee, so we ask all participants to collect as much sponsorship as possible. If you can't take part donate, sponsor a raft or come along on the day and donate a few bob," he added. 

Run on an entirely voluntary basis, the Mallow Search & Rescue Unit travels the length and breadth of the country each year assisting in search and recovery missions at the request of the emergency services and affected families. 

The monies raised through this and other fundraising events will go directly to help offset the costs of running the unit, which run to more than €60,000 per annum. 

Mr Walsh said that as they receive no statutory funding, the raft run is a vitally important vehicle to raise the money needed to cover travel expenses, ongoing training and the cost of updating and purchasing lifesaving equipment. 

"On average we get tasked to more than 30 incidents each year and our fuel bill alone can run to €10,000 per annum. We rely on the generosity of the public and donations to keep going, which is why the raft run is such and important event for us," he said. 

"We are once again appealing for the public's support for what is always a great day for both participants and supporters. Once again, our thanks go out to the people of North Cork for their ongoing support over the years and we look forward to see a few new faces."

Entry forms and sponsorship cards can be collected from the units base at Broom Lane each evening between 7pn and 9pm, at The Arches Bar or by contacting 087 635 3850.

Corkman

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