WHILE many of us on Christmas eve will be foraging around the shops acquiring the final supplies for the big day one Donagh student is going the extra mile, or 62.24 to be precise.
Michael Mulligan, a student at University of Ulster of Coleraine will be donning the colours of Santa and cycling 100k around the county to raise money for the Horizon West Children’s Hospice.
The cycle route will begin in Donagh before moving on to Newtownbutler,Magheraveely, Dernawilt, Roslea and Brookeborough. The route cycle will the make its way through Maguiresbridge, Lisbellaw, Enniskillen, Derrylin and Lisnaskea before finishing up back in Donagh.
Michael explained: “I wanted to help children out at Christmas and had the Children’s Hospice in mind. When I discussed the event with my mother she said that if she was raising money for anything it would be this hospice and when I researched more I knew that this was the right place to donate money to. With poor government funding and high running costs it needs every bit of fundraising it can get!”
The wheels were really put in motion once Michael contacted the Hospice and plans grew from strength to strength.
“I contacted Gemma the fundraiser for Horizon West Children’s Hospice; she loved the idea and suggested creating a Facebook page to keep people up-to-date with the plans of the cycle and to get more and more people interested. The Facebook page continues to grow with more ‘likes’ each day and donations have steadily increased each week.
“It’s been amazing the amount of people interested, between people’s donations coming in, cyclists mad for the challenge and others willing to help on the day the whole thing has been overwhelming and has been increasing week on week.”
When asked about his motivations for the cycle Michael assured the Herald it was not simply about working up an appetite for Christmas dinner.
“I don’t think I’ll ever need to work up an appetite for Christmas dinner, I could eat it every day of the year!
“I feel the challenge of 100km is pretty exciting and testing, but the main motivation will be not to let all the people that have donated down.
“I enjoy cycling, but I only got a road racing bike this summer, the most I’ve ever done in one day has been 50km and of course it is tough. I am sure that it will be tougher to do double that, but the last two weeks training will be stepped up and I am determined to finish the cycle no matter how long it takes.”
The cycle will begin at 8.30am on Christmas eve and may not finish until 4pm and Michael has asked for the people of Fermanagh to get behind him and his group of merry men and women.
“All the shopping should be well over come Christmas eve I would hope, I think a lot of people go into their local towns to soak up the atmosphere of Christmas and to have a nosey around.
“I hope that the Santa Cycle will add more excitement this Christmas and the people will not only drive us on in their local towns, but do their best to donate to the Hospice.”
You can donate to Michael’s campaign by visiting www.justgiving.com/Michael-Mulligan4 and for more information visit the facebook page ‘Santas Cycle across Fermanagh for NI Childerns Hospice’.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition