GAA legend Seán Óg Ó hAilpín was joined by former Operation Transformation leader, Deirdre O’Donovan,who is a care assistant in the Mercy University Hospital, to officially launch this year’s Fort 2 Fort Charity Cycle. The cycle, taking place on Sunday 29th March, will raise funds for the Mercy Hospital Foundation, Lions Clubs of Cork, and Camden Fort Meagher Restoration.
The Fort 2 Fort Charity Cycle, now in its 4th year, has firmly established itself in the calendar of Cork’s cycling enthusiasts of all abilities, offering the option of cycling a 60km, a new 85km or a 125km route around Cork Harbour. To date,1,365 cyclists have participated in Fort 2 Fort, and over €63,000 has been raised for the local beneficiary charities.
The 2015 Fort 2 Fort Charity Cycle kicks off at 10am at Trabolgan Holiday Village, and will take cyclists through some of the most spectacular scenery and routes around Cork Harbour, before heading towards Fort Camden in Crosshaven. All cyclists will cross the River Lee on the Cross River Ferry, where they can momentarily relax, take stock and enjoy the buzz and excitement that is Fort 2 Fort. For cyclists undertaking the 60km and 85km routes, free transport will be available this year for the riders and their bikes back to Trabolgan Holiday Village; while the 125km option finishes back in Whitegate.
For anyone interested in rising to the challenge, an early bird registration fee of €39 is available until February 1st. After that, registration is €45 for those who sign up before March 28th, and for those who want to register on the day at Trabolgan Holiday Village between 8.15am and 9.30am, it’s €50. You can register online atwww.mercyfundraising.ie.
Thanks to the very generous support of sponsors Ulster Bank and Victoria Cross Cycles, all funds raised through participants will go directly to the Mercy Hospital Foundation, Lions Clubs of Cork, and Camden Fort Meagher Restoration Fund.
Speaking about how funds raised will be used, Micheál Sheridan, CEO at the Mercy Hospital Foundation said“With one in three of us expected to have cancer at some point in our lives, it is likely we, or someone close to us, will have the experience of sitting in a consultation room and being given devastating news. At The Mercy, we want to make sure that news is told in the most supportive way possible. We are building a specialised Cancer Care Centre next to the Hospital that will provide a quiet safe place for patients and families dealing with a cancer diagnosis to come to receive support through their cancer journey.”
He continued “€1 million is required to fund the development of The Mercy Cancer Care Centre. We hope to start construction later this year, but need to raise €20,000 to get this project started, so funds raised through the Fort 2 Fort cycle will be used for this.”
Micheál concluded “Our mission is to support the Hospital in delivering the highest quality of patient care by raising funds to support advancements and innovation in the treatment and care of patients at the Mercy Hospital, the People’s Hospital. We promise to do our very best to provide you with a world class hospital, right on your doorstep, and this is only possible through the help of our supporters and donors, like those who participate and support the annual Fort 2 Fort Charity Cycle.”
Regional Director, South, of Ulster Bank, Tom Leahy said “As main sponsor we are delighted to once again support the worthy causes that the Fort 2 Fort Charity Cycle raises funds for. It is an exciting and energetic way to raise funds for key Cork charities; and sees many of our Ulster Bank staff members take part in the cycle year in year out.”
Cobh Lions Club member and Fort 2 Fort organiser Tom Butler added “Fort2Fort is an exciting joint venture between 5 local Cork Lions Clubs – Carrigaline, Cobh, Midleton, Douglas and Cork Lions Club and reflects their involvement in serving their communities and those in need through activity based fundraising. The Fort 2 Fort cyclists are at the heart of this venture and we would like to thank them all for their outstanding support to date. We are looking forward to welcoming them and many more cyclists this year, where we have 3 great routes to offer riders of all levels, abilities and ambitions for a challenging and enjoyable day.”
For further information or to register for the Fort 2 Fort Charity Cycle, visit www.mercyfundraising.ie or call (021) 4274076.