Archive for Collection

My Butte Side-Quest

My stall at An Rí Rá Irish Festival

I have just been reunited with the rest of the team following a three-day semi-solo fundraising effort in Butte, Montana.  And now, to explain:

Several months ago I contacted the Montana Gaelic Cultual Society regarding charity fundraising.  Each year, the Society holds An Rí Rá Irish Festival in the city of Butte, a 3-day celebration of Ireland’s culture and its connections with Montana.  The organisers of the festival showed great interest in our trip, and generously offered us a free booth at which to collect money and also free accommodation while in Butte.

The one snag was that we were scheduled to pass through the city the previous Wednesday, missing the festival by days.  After much deliberation amongst the lads, it was agreed that I would stay in Butte from Wednesday to Sunday, set up the booth on Saturday and collect all day.  Relief would come from Donal and Eoin, who volunteered to drive 230 miles back from Billings, Montana to man the stall Saturday evening, an offer made all the more impressive by Eoin having to cycle from Big Timber to Billings that same morning!  A big thanks to Eoin and Donal for making the effort.

Patrice and Colleen examine the route tattooed on my back

The days went thusly:

Wednesday: I see that Mark has already blogged about Wednesday.  It was the one night in Butte that the five of us were together.  A big thanks to Patrice Evans and Casey Johnston for putting us all up, and to Patrice again for bringing us to her company picnic at Theresa’s house.

Thursday: I joined the ranks of volunteers who were setting up the Rí Rá festival site on Park Street.  With three stages and a plethora of tents to raise, the festival’s volunteers are a hard-working and dedicated bunch.  I met a lot of great people that day, and had a great night at the launch reception that night in the Finlen Hotel.

Friday: Following a morning and afternoon of the usual COA admin work, it was off to the festival.  I got the chance to see some of the bands and meet more locals.  The day was capped off with a trad session in the Finlen Hotel.

Macker, the (Thankfully) Clothed Cowboy

Saturday: The big day.  I arrived at Park Street circa 11.30, and, with the help of Teresa, I had the stall ready to go at midday.  From 12 o’clock until 7.30 that evening, I waved the Livestrong bucket around, handed out our business cards and gave the whole COA spiel to all passers-by.  It was a great opportunity to meet the festival goers, who all showed great generosity and an enthusiastic interest in the cycle.  I was kept entertained throughout the day by my fellow Rí Rá volunteers, who stopped for a chat whenever they passed by.

The moment everyone was waiting for came circa 7.30, when Donal and Eoin arrived following their 230 mile drive.  The three of us then manned the stall until 11.30 when the festival wrapped up for the night.  Of course, the craic was only just beginning in the Finlen Hotel, where we mixed and mingled with the people of Butte ’til the early hours.

My tired self in the car on the way back to Billings on Sunday

I’d like to thank all the people who helped the team and I during our respective days in Butte.  Thanks again to Patrice and Casey for the accommodation; thanks to Monica Cavanaugh and Patrice for staying in touch with us these past few months and helping us make it happen.  Thanks to all in the Montana Gaelic Cultural Society, and thanks to everyone who donated over the weekend, giving a total of $549 to the Livestrong Foundation.  Finally, thank you to everyone for making me feel very welcome in Butte, including Monica, Rick, Patrice, Imelda, Patrick, Teresa, Theresa, Cody, John, Carol and everybody else I met.  Admittedly, until we started planning the Cycle of America, I had never heard of Butte, but this wonderful home-away-from-home is now firmly pinned on my map.

Macker, the (Thankfully) Clothed Cowboy

Tesco Collection – MASSIVE THANK YOU!!!

We just want to say a massive thank you to Sharon Boland ( Williams lovely girlfriend!!) his uncle Thomas Hollingsworth and sister Katie Kerwin  for organising and doing the collection for us in Tesco in Wicklow Town. They were collecting from 9 oclock to 5 oclock on saturday 14th and raised 921 euro . We really appreciate all the help and support.

Tesco Collection – Wicklow Town, Saturday 14th Aug

Friends and family of  William, Thomas Hollingsworth ( uncle) and Sharon Boland ( lovely Girlfriend!)  have very kindly organised a charity collection in Tesco, Wicklow Town on Saturday the 14th of August. They will be starting the collection around 9 o’clock, so keep an eye out for them!

And we just want to say a special thank you to Sharon and Thomas for all there help and support. We really appreciate it!

Celebrity Fans and Exclusive Training Footage

The weekend of 17/18 July was a busy one for the Cycle of America Team!

Saturday morning saw our final day of public fundraising in Ireland, with a collection on Grafton Street on a rainy day. Despite the gloomy weather, the passing public generously donated nearly 450 euro to our charities. Amongst the crowds to walk by was Irish Rubgy Superstar Gordon D’Arcy who wished the Team well and was delighted to pose for a picture.

From left to right: Eoin (cyclist), Mark (cyclist), Gordon D’Arcy and Donal (driver)

From left to right: Mark, Donal and Team friend Ciaran shaking buckets in the rain

On Sunday morning, the Team went for a quick 100km spin through their training ground – the Wicklow Mountains. The wet weather again rolled in, but spirits remained high and the lads enjoyed one of their last spins together before departing for Stateside.

You can view exclusive behind the scenes footage of the training session here:

Wicklow Mountains Spin – 18 July 2010

Rain soaked grafton street collection

Despite the lashings of rain, our dedicated team were out once again on Saturday (10 July) collecting money from generous passer-by’s.  While the bad weather did impact the number of people on Grafton Street this weekend, the generosity of the people was not dampened!  This Saturday we collected approximately €520 .  Thanks once more to the people for their kindness, interest and support.  We have one more collection on Grafton Street , next Saturday (17 July) before the team begin to head over to the states.  Be sure to come over and say hello if you’re out and about- all your support is greatly appreciated!

Grafton Street fundraiser pictures

Below are some pictures from our recent Grafton Street collections held on 12, 19 and 26 June. As you’ll see the lads were joined by some “super” helpers.  Thanks to all those who stopped to donate or just to chat about our journey.

Our last two collections are taking place in the same spot on Grafton Street on 10 and 17 July so drop by if you are around town!

Grafton Street Collection – Day Three

Mark gives a brief panoramic synopsis of both the cycle and the day. Filmed 26 June at the top of Grafton Street in Dublin.

Fundraising on Grafton Street

We have applied to the Gardai for permission to set up street collections on Henry Street and Grafton Street for June and July and are in the final stage before we get approval- so it’s looking good.

We plan to start our collection on June 19 th and from then every Saturday in June and July .  To help us out, even if just for an hour or so, get in touch with one of the lads, email us or leave a message on Facebook.  Again, any help you can give would be very much appreciated.

Fundraising Update and upcoming events

Just to keep everyone up to date- we have raised €5,000 so far!  Well done and thank you to everyone who has donated or helped raised money.  We have a number of events coming up in the next few weeks.

We’ll be collecting outside Tesco in Maynooth on Saturday 29 th May .  Anyone in the area with an hour or two to spare is more than welcome to come down and grab a bucket!

Back in the big city we have managed to arrange a comedy night in the Twisted Pepper on Abbey Street (on the red line Luas stop- not far from Jervis) on Thursday 17 June with Dave McSavage and friends.

For those of you fortunate enough to work with Mark, the social club in Citi Group has arranged a table quiz for employees with top prize being an extra day off work!  Best prize ever!!  Be sure to get studying now!

We are hosting another table quiz (open to everyone this time) in Lexslip, St Mary’s GAA Club at 9pm on Friday 25 June .  Everyone welcome- bring all your friends and family!

For our supporters in the Garden County- never fear, you have not been left out!  Wicklow locals Feedback have agreed to headline a night of great music at the Leitrim Pub in Wicklow Town on July 10 th .  A raffle will be held during the night with fantastic prizes galore!

Also thanks to those who have volunteered to do the Women’s mini marathon ( June Bank Holiday in Dublin ) on our behalf, much appreciated!  For anyone else who wants to take part in this fantastic event for us, get in touch with us through facebook or email and we can send you out a sponsorship card.

Fundraising :Blanchardstown Shopping Centre 10th April 2010

Another Saturday afternoon was spent loitering in shopping centres with buckets in hands.

On this ocassion it was Blanchardstown Shopping Centre.

We raised a fantastic total of €747 !!

Once again the Birthdays shop came to our rescue and provided us with Helium balloons, so another thank you to them. Thanks to all those who donated and also to the management at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre allowing us collect!

We are working on our next collection day- if you are aware of anywhere that may be suitable, drop us a line and let us know and we’ll see what we can arrange!

In the mean-time we have organised two sponsored 5 mile runs:

One in DCU Saturday 17th April (first prize of 3 months free membership kindly donated by DCU gym) ,

and the second in the Sheldon Park Leisure Centre on Saturday 24th April (first prize of meal for 2 in the fabulous restaurant at the Sheldon Park Hotel). Thanks and all the Best of luck to all participants!

And if you wish to shake those cobwebs from your runners and participate,

We also have plenty of people whom are generously taking part in the Great Ireland Run on April 18 th in Phoenix Park on our behalf.

It is not compulsory to run jog or walk so you could enjoy a nice walk in the beautiful surroundings of Phoenix Park with a great atmosphere and a bit of fun! If you want to help raise money on our behalf, just get in touch with us via email or facebook and we can a sponsorship card to you before you can say the word Cycle!

Thanks to all those who have already put their names down- all help is greatly appreciated

Don’t forget about the upcoming Heroes In Hiding gig on Tuesday 20 th April in Crawdaddy .

Doors open at 8pm and tickets are available at the door for just €7.

Great value for a fantastic night of music from one of Ireland ’s hottest new bands! Their tipped for the top.Just ask Dave Fanning

Crawdaddy is just opposite the Harcourt Street Green line Luas stop, for further directions log on to:

Over and out