BY CHRIS MCNULTY
FOUR charities will benefit from this year’s North-West 10k, which was launched this evening at the Mount Errigal Hotel.
Blood Bike North West, Donegal Youth Service and the local branches of MS Society and Downs Syndrome Association will benefit from the proceeds of the 19th running of the NW 10k on Sunday, May 3.
Race organisers are hopeful of breaking the 3,000 mark for participants.
“With the boom that is on in the sport at the minute I think we can get over 3,000,” said Race Director Brendan McDaid.
“For many years our target was 1,000 and then, all of a sudden, it shot past that. 3,000 is realistic for us this year.
“This event is something that people do every year. It might be their only event of the year, but they keep coming back to us year in, year out.”
North West 10k Chairman James Boyle thanked the Irish Red Cross, Donegal County Council and Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce for their assistance, while a special mention was given to An Garda Siochana – represented by Sergeant Eunan Walsh – who aided in putting together a safety statement.
Local councillors James Pat McDaid and Gerry McMonagle, County Manager Seamus Nealy and two-time Olympian Danny McDaid were among the attendance at the launch.
Representatives from the four charities expressed their delight at being chosen as this year’s beneficiaries.
Blood Bike North West is a voluntary group of bikers who provide assistance to the HSE by offering an out-of-hours emergency service that sees their members transport blood, plasma, breast milk and important notes from Donegal to hospitals across the country.
The Multiple Sclerosis Donegal Branch is a totally voluntary group and all monies raised locally stay within the county.
The branch runs a summer outing for the members and their carers, and again at Christmas party, while they help to provide physio for people who are unable to travel.
The Donegal Down Syndrome provides Speech therapy to all their members.
As well as speech therapy the organisation offers swimming lessons, drama, dance lessons, yoga, cycle training, youth club for teens/adults, social club for 5-12 year-old and life skills such as cookery and literacy courses for adults.
Donegal Youth Service (DYS) works with over 400 local volunteers and with over 4,000 young people aged 5 to 25 years of age on a range of topics including sport provision, fun activities, games, arts and crafts, music, drama and topical training programmes including Cyber-bullying, Drug & Alcohol Awareness and Diversity Awareness.
The DYS ‘Youth Outreach Project’ works with 27 voluntary youth clubs located right across the county. The DYS ‘Youth Information Centre’ provides information, training and guidance as well as a drop in facility at its Letterkenny base and has an outreach service in Falcarragh and Ballybofey.
The DYS ‘Daybreak Programme’ located in Letterkenny and Ballybofey helps young people who are experiencing difficulty in school and is a direct response educational service.
The 2015 North West 10k, sponsored by Brian McCormick Sports and Leisure and Donegal Daily, gets underway at 2pm sharp on May 3.
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