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54321 event raises close on €35,000 for good causes

Organising committee member Carole Moran makes the cheque presentation to the 54321 Challenge charities at Ross Castle

COVID-19 restrictions and Storm Ellen combined to ensure this year’s 54321 Charity Challenge was a very different event than previous years with the four-day project becoming a curtailed three-day event and the number of participants restricted to seven.

This is the eighth year of the challenge which normally involved three marathon cycles and two mountain climbs.

However, Storm Ellen had other ideas and the participants had to opt to cycle 70km on rollers and spinning bikes and, the next day, to cycle the Ring of Kerry 180km distance on spinning bikes at the Kerry Sports Academy at the IT Tralee.

Climbing Mount Brandon was next on the agenda and that was achieved despite strong winds and heavy showers and next up was scaling Carrauntuohill in more favourable conditions.

The 54321 Challenge 2020 raised €34,768.97 and this year’s selected charities are Skellig Stars, Kerry Hospice and Enable Ireland Kerry.

A major contributor to this year’s fundraising efforts was a number of spinathon days where this year`s participants, volunteers from the various causes, family and friends took the streets in different locations around the county on spinning bikes.

This year’s event brings the total raised to date €241,352 over the past eight years.

The 54321 charity champions Caroline Danaher (Enable Ireland), Catherine Foley (Kerry Hospice) and Mark Murphy (Skellig Stars) and Carole Moran, on behalf of 54321 Challenge committee, gathered at Ross Castle to present the cheque to this year’s selected charities. The other participants, Noreen Sheahan, Martin McCarthy and TJ O’Connor, were with them in spirit but, in the interest of safety and to reduce numbers, celebrated this year success at home.

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