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Run for Alice – Thank You

Blackrock A.C. juvenile member Alice is a bright, beautiful, and brave 9-year-old. In April of this year, her world was turned on its head when she was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, a rare, aggressive, and complex cancer of the nerve cells. The chances of relapse are high, and it carries low survival rates. However we are certain she will beat these odds and needed your help.

The Plan

An organising committee consisting of Blackrock A.C. club members and coaches was set up to help the Hayes family reach their overall target of €550,000. It was decided that the club would aim to raise €50,000 to help Alice beat cancer. To do this, the goal was for Blackrock A.C. and friends to run the distance from Carysfort Park, Blackrock to MSK Cancer Center in New York, an ambitious 5,128km over the course of one week from Monday 6th to Sunday 13th of November 2022. The grand finale of which would be held in Carysfort Park.

In conjunction with this, corporate donations were sought and a raffle was to be held to raise further funds. Prizes were needed and the local business community really got behind the initiative.

Communities Involved

Reaching 5,128km was definitely a big goal. As such it was felt early on by organising committee lead Peter Garvey who from day one of the challenge was eagerly encouraging people to get out and log their kms; and log them they did. Not only was pretty much every Blackrock A.C. member out and about but local schools were getting behind it too. Carysfort National School, Loreto Abbey, Dalkey, Our Lady of the Wayside, Bluebell and Willow Park School all got involved and clocked up some serious kilometres. Not restricted to just being local, the initiative was supported as far afield as South Africa where some members of FNB Running Group, Running Buddies and Runzone got involved and logged theirs. It was challenging but as Sunday approached, 5,128kms was a goal looking more attainable.

 

Targets Exceeded 

On Sunday the organisers were joined by many volunteers in Carysfort Park to help get everything set up for the hundreds of runners who would soon be attending. Joined early on by former Leinster and Ireland rugby player Fergus McFadden, 2020 national 100m champion Stephen Gaffney as well as Christina Hamill, Ellen Curran, Hannah McLoughlin, Sarah McCauley and Siofra O’Brien from the Irish Women’s Hockey team, the first run got off at a 10:15am. Later joined by Olympian David Gillick and former club member Sarah Healy, a combined 2,130kms were run on the morning which, combined with entries on Blackrock A.C. Strava and elsewhere during the week, smashed the target of 5,128km. The total distance run over the course of the week was 8,452kms which even the most optimistic people felt exceeded their expectations.

In addition to surpassing the 5,128km distance to New York, the Run for Alice initiative raised a provisional total of €66,116. Thank you all so, so much for contributing to these amazing results. Peter Garvey had this to say. 

“Thank you to all of you who ran for us, raised sponsorship, donated so generously, baked cakes, organised equipment, and to all our members and friends who helped organise such a wonderful event. We are also most grateful to the sporting celebrities who gave so much of their time and to the local businesses who donated such amazing raffle prizes.

A special word of thanks to my tremendous organising committee – Laura Buckley, Dee Lowry, Grainne Stafford, James Dowling and Barry Thornton – who always managed to get people to say ‘yes’ when we needed something from them!

Thanks again.”

The remainder of the organising committee would also like to thank Peter for his tirelessness in driving the event from start to finish and ensuring everything remained on track for Alice to beat cancer at all times. 

Special Thanks to Doners and Sports Personnel

All of this was greatly aided by the generous donations of local businesses. Blackrock A.C. would like to say a special thank you to corporate financial doners:

Special thanks to prize doners:

A huge special thank you to our special guests:

  • Christina Hamill
  • David Gillick
  • Ellen Curran
  • Fergus McFadden
  • Hannah McLoughlin
  • Sarah Healy
  • Sarah McCauley
  • Siofra O’Brien
  • Stephen Gaffney

Special Message to Alice

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-alice-beat-cancer-fundThanks also to the amazing volunteers who worked tirelessly on the day setting up for the event, selling cakes, raffle tickets – and indeed the lots of name-writing that was involved! All of this among many other things.

Finally, thank you to Blackrock A.C. and wider individuals, schools, organisations and communities for getting involved and doing your bit to help Alice beat cancer. We are immensely grateful and very proud to be part of this super community.

Our best wishes to Alice and all her family now as the Help Alice Beat Cancer fund strives towards the last remaining amount. We are almost there!

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