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East Coast Rowing Clubs Rowed 3,200km and Raised More Than €20,500 for Young Girl’s Cancer Treatment

2nd December 2022
Rowers at Stella Maris RC in Dublin put in the kilometres on their ergometers as part of the 24-hour fundraising challenge on Saturday 26 November
Rowers at Stella Maris RC in Dublin put in the kilometres on their ergometers as part of the 24-hour fundraising challenge on Saturday 26 November

East Coast rowing clubs pooled their efforts to row more than 3,200km in 24 hours and raise more than €20,500 in aid of a young cancer patient from Blackrock.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, St Michael’s Rowing Club members spearheaded the challenge to support nine-year-old Alice Hayes, who was diagnosed earlier this year with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, a rare, aggressive, and complex cancer of the nerve cell.

Gareth Witthington and Nicola Fitzgerald of St Michael’s in Dun Laoghaire — who organised the event last Saturday 26 November — hoped to raise €7,500 in the joint effort between all 11 rowing clubs on the East Coast, relay rowing on ergometers to hit a target of 3,171km in 24 hours.

The final totals far exceeded their expectations, with the total distance rowed at 3,228km and funds raised nearly three times what was targeted.

And the funds will make a significant contribution to the care of Alice, whose family need to raise a total of €550,000 to get her access to life-saving cancer drugs in a clinical trial in New York next year.

Nine-year-old Alice Hayes added to the rowing total herself with the support of her family at St Michael’s RC on Saturday 26 NovemberNine-year-old Alice Hayes added to the rowing total herself with the support of her family at St Michael’s RC on Saturday 26 November

“We are delighted with the superb performances by our membership, the wider East Coast clubs, overseas rowers who joined from the United States, Finland and the United Kingdom, Cormac Devlin TD who showed his support by rowing alongside the St Michael’s, the CBRE Global Work Place Solutions office challenges and a dig out from the Dun Laoghaire Sea Scouts who got us over the line,” Witthington said.

“Congratulations to all! We set ourselves the target of €7,500 and between online and offline fundraising the total currently stands at over €20,500!

“This is an incredible amount of money that will go towards getting Alice the help she needs, and we were so moved that Alice came down to row with us on Saturday for a little while.

“To say we are gobsmacked about how much was raised is an understatement!”

Together, the East Coast rowing clubs said they wish to thank all their members and supporters for uniting for this challenge “and proving once again that there is great strength and generosity in unity”.

The GoFundMe page to support Alice’s care is still accepting donations.

St Michael’s Rowing Club give thanks to the following:

  • East Coast Rowing Council
  • Stella Maris Rowing Club
  • St Patrick’s Rowing Club
  • Vartry Rowing Club
  • Bray Rowing Club
  • Dalkey Rowing Club
  • Fingal Rowing Club
  • Wicklow Rowing Club
  • Skerries Rowing Club
  • Greystones Rowing Club
  • Supervalu Dun Laoghaire
  • UCD
  • Monkstown Boxing Club
  • CBRE Global Work Place Solutions
  • Texaco Newtown Park Avenue
  • Sea Scouts Dun Laoghaire
Published in Coastal Rowing, Rowing
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