Just to bring you up to speed (geddit?) on the Home to Rome Cycle Challenge, which we first mentioned back in November…

To quickly recap:  Jim Doody and Kevin Kelly had called into the Hand in Hand office. This was to give us the very welcome tidings that they were two of the organisers of an impressive extravaganza that would see a cyclist from each of the 32 counties cycle from that county all the way to Rome.

This week we heard from one of the participants, Philip ConnaugPhilip C1hton.  We haven’t met Philip personally as he is based in Germany, but he told us:

“I just wanted to let you know that I’ll still be doing the Home to Rome Challenge; but I’ll no longer be going in June as my wife is pregnant and due just as the cycle will be finishing.  So instead I’ll be joining Kevin with a separate smaller group in September.

“In fact, this is great since it gives me not only more time to train, but also to raise funds! 

“This year will be busy with work, a new baby and cycling; but I will do my very best to raise as much as I can for you guys before then.  Oh, and thanks for the T-shirts and posters.  The sponsor cards are already in use in Ballinasloe, so more money is coming in from there too.”

We at Hand in Hand can never emphasise enough just how really crucial such exceptionaPhilip C4l people as Philip, Kevin and Jim really are. Their like are the very life-blood of a small charity like this one.  Without such as them and all the rest of our fundraisers and volunteers life would be just that extra bit harder for so many.

I often wonder if they truly comprehend how many lives they touch, how many hearts that they give that additional hope to.

And as if he wasn’t already doing enough Philip added:

“On Saturday night last weekend I did a ‘shave-and-waxing’ night for Hand in Hand in my local Irish pub in Germany.  It went quite well and we managed to raise the best part of €1,500. [Quite well, he says!]  I will senPhilip C5d this money via my iDonate fundraising page so that everyone who took part can see exactly where the money is going and also so that they can see my progress in hopefully getting to my self-imposed target of €5,000.

“I’m sending you some photos, including one of my wife Niamh and myself with the biggest shaver, Adrian McDermott.  He shaved his head, beard and chest and managed to raise €500 alone.

“I’ll keep you informed on any other upcoming events over the next few months.”

In turn, we will keep you informed by passing on what Philip tells us.