WITH four million steps completed and over €20k raised for Pieta House, St Finbarr's GAA club united their community at the weekend.
The Barrs had set a €5k target due to the postponement of the charity's Darkness Into Light event because of Covid-19.
“We encouraged members and friends, as well as other local sports clubs and organizations, to join us in walking for Pieta on Saturday but by lunchtime on Friday, the first target of €5,000 was hit and surpassed before the events begun,” explained one of the Barrs organisers Mick Finn.
“Five targets later and we were coasting towards €20,000 which is really a phenomenal figure given we had no one specific activity or challenge. We in the Barrs just helped to co-ordinate the effort, other local clubs and businesses rallied to the call and this was such a success because of their involvement and by all those who participated and donated."
A huge number of clubs across Leeside got behind Pieta House in recent days, with Éire Óg pulling in a number of high-profile players like Dublin All-Star James McCarthy and Kerry hurler Shane Conway to support their event which broke the €15k target, while Carrigaline's senior players were out in force since Thursday night in their fundraiser and a €30k mark is in sight for the South East club.
Finn, who is on the organising committee for the UCC and Ballyvolane Darkness Into Light, described the response was overwhelming and humbling.
“We kind of guessed the mood of people following the €2m raised on the Late Late Show and our figures just kept going up.
"We had collection buckets at White’s Centra, Togher and Wheltons’ Centra on Bandon Road, in the SuperValu branches in Togher and Grange and in O’Connell’s Butchers the Lough and the support at all them was simply amazing.”
He thanked all those who got behind the initiative, particularly his co-organisers Tony Doolan and Stephen Goggin.
“What started off as an idea a week ago mushroomed into this plan which seemed to have captured the imagination, with young and old counting steps, keeping social distance and donating to the cause.
"I think many were looking for something to support and this seems to have fit the bill. Stephen played a blinder on the promotion of the steps challenge and the publicity we received from the Echo and Examiner really helped to spread the word.
"We are so thankful and proud of the efforts of our local support clubs including Lough Rovers, Greenwood FC, Everton FC, Pearse Celtic, Dunbar Celtic and Togher Boxing Club; this was community spirt at its absolute finest.”
He also praised Carrigaline GAA for raising almost €30k and the many individuals who raised thousands for Pieta with their own fundraising pages.