Clare Crusaders are very busy gearing up for their eagerly-awaited Tractor Run on Sunday, August 29.
This is the first public fundraising event the clinic has been able to organise, in view of the fact it is open-air, and it is regarded as very safe to comply with stringent Covid-19 guidelines.
Starting at 2pm, the Tractor Run goes from Barefield up the back road to Ruan, on to Tubber and Crusheen, before returning to Barefield village. It is expected that up to 100 vintage and modern tractors will participate in the run.
It costs €20 for tractors to participate and money will also be raised from a raffle. Raffle tickets are currently on sale in the clinic and can be also purchased on the day.
Tractors can park in Hassett’s car park, at the clinic, on the main road and up towards the school.
All the participants will be staying in their tractor and will follow an arranged route, while onlookers can view these farm vehicles while still complying with social distancing.
Clinic manager, Councillor Amn Norton believes that people will be interested to view the tractors because everyone has been restricted from engaging in social activities for so long during the pandemic.
“When the clinic held the last one two years ago, a lot of the younger farmers loved to showcase their tractors to people in the community.
“The tractor run draws a great mix of people, ranging from young to old, with young children coming out to see big modern and vintage tractors.
“In a community like Barefield, and the surrounding areas of Ruan, Crusheen and Doora, it has a strong farming community. The tractor run will be held towards the end of the silage season, which is a time that most of the contracting is winding down.
“This is a very important fundraiser because the clinic has continued providing services during Covid-19, albeit behind closed doors. We provided a service through Zoom and phone calls, and continued communication with parents.
“Programmes were posted out to parents. We need to generate the funding so we can continue providing vital services to children with special needs,” she said.
She stressed the services being provided by the clinic couldn’t be put on hold or otherwise children with special needs would regress. This is something the clinic has always been conscious of.
The clinic needs to raise a considerable amount of money after losing the opportunity to fundraise during the last 18 months.
It provides free therapy and specialist treatment to in the region of 450 children with special needs in Clare.
It operates as a self-financing service located in Barefield. The government doesn’t allocate any state funding to the clinic, leaving it to raise more than €250,000 annually to provide the current level of therapy for children.
It opened in 2007 thanks to the dedication and hard work of a group of parents to overcome the deficit in state services.
by Dan Danaher