THE ‘Walk with M.E.’ fund-raising event for Downstrands Family Resource Centre and the Kevin Bell repatriation trust on St Stephen’s Day has raised €33,215.
The ‘Walk with M.E’ event was organised by Ardara man John Ross Molloy who lost his older sister Mary Ellen in a horrific car accident in Australia just a few days before Christmas in 2019.
Cheques for €16,612.50 were handed over to the two charities on Tuesday, on would have been Mary Ellen’s 28th birthday.
Mary Ellen was killed when a tree fell on a taxi she was travelling in with two of her fellow nurses. Ms Molloy died instantly in the freak accident on Friday, December 20, 2019 in Melbourne.
The services of the KRBT were used to bring Mary Ellen home to her parents Terence and Angela, her two younger brothers John Ross and Karl Joseph and the Molloy and Gillespie families in early January. She was laid to rest in the graveyard adjacent to the Church of the Holy Family, Ardara, on January 2 last year.
On St Stephen’s Day, Mary Ellen’s former work colleagues and friends came together to take part in a series of walks in Donegal
A week earlier, the Irish Australian Support and Resource Bureau, organised a dawn walk in Melbourne.
Speaking to the Donegal News, John Ross thanked the organisers of the walks which took place in Ardara, Narin, Meenaneary, Carrick, Lough Eske Donegal, Glenties and from the Blue Haven Kilcar.
Walks also took place in Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Ballybofey, London, New York, Perth and the Gold Coast in Australia.
“The support that everybody was willing to give was just incredible and it was a real tribute to the sort of person Mary Ellen was.
“We’d especially like to thank all of Mary Ellen’s friends, Kayla Baskin, Charlene Breslin, Joanne Maloney, Nicole Sweeney, Regina Shovlin. They came up with this idea to remember Mary Ellen and those we have loved and lost.
“But most of all, we must thank you, the people who braved the weather that day and donated in any way at all. €33,215 far exceeded any expectations we had when beginning this and we are beyond grateful.
“We had planned to announce this much sooner, but because of your incredible and ongoing generosity, donations continued days and even weeks after the walk had taken place. So we decided today (Tuesday), Mary Ellen’s 28th birthday, would be a good time to announce the details and thank you all.
“The generosity shown is overwhelming and will go on to help so many people. Helping families like ours that have to use the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust to bring home a loved one from overseas. To someone who needs help from the Downstands/Glenties counselling service to get through a challenging time in their lives,” John Ross said.