OVER €60,000 was raised for two cancer charities by the recent South for Susan and Antoinette Malin to Mizen cycle.
Presentations of €30,390 each were made last week to Kilnamona-based Sláinte an Chláir and Cancer Care West, both of whom provide cancer support services to patients undergoing treatment and their families.
The cycle was undertaken in early June, in memory of Susan O’Neill from Ballyea and Antoinette Pender from Quilty, both of whom died from cancer-related illness last year.
Upon receiving Sláinte an Chláir’s share of the fundraising, spokesperson Marie Phelan, said, “The amount received this evening means a huge amount to our charity and will enable
us to continue supporting cancer patients and their families in practical ways while they undergo treatment for cancer.”
Dave O’Donnell, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Cancer Care West said, “We are full of admiration for the Trojan efforts put in by the cyclists and support team during
the trip from Malin Head to Mizen Head and your fundraising is truly amazing.”
The idea for South for Susan and Antoinette came through a conversation between Liam Duggan and Noel Keane following Susan’s death.
“When we were giving thought to what we could do to ensure that Susan’s legacy of cycle-related fundraising could be celebrated, we found out that our friend Antoinette was seriously ill and passed away within a number of weeks.
“Both Susan and Antoinette were experienced cyclists, as were their husbands Michael and James. From commencement, the event received huge support and encouragement.
“We would have liked to have a larger group complete the cycle but the logistics of accommodation meant that we had to restrict the numbers” said Liam.
Speaking at the presentation in the Local Inn, Drumquin, Noel Keane said, “We placed a great emphasis on making sure that all cyclists returned home safely and we were delighted to
have achieved the journey without accident or incident.
“We picked up two punctures, one to a bike and one to a support van. The response to the fundraising was awe inspiring and the goodwill and generosity of people gave us a great lift.”
Support Team Leader Noel Howard made special mention of the logistics support made available from local businesses and providers tyres, tubes, protein bars, food, water and
“When we explained why we were doing the project people ensured that we were well equipped,” said Noel.
Susan’s daughters, Michelle O’Looney and Tara Lynch looked after social media matters and set up a GoFundMe fundraising stream that generated over €16,000.
They also travelled along the route from Malin Head, updating the charity’s Facebook page with photos from the road. Both also assisted with the provision of food and lunch breaks.
Susan’s husband Michael, who cycled the lengthy journey, said that the success was very much down to great planning.
“There were many meetings beforehand to go over every detail of the challenge. Every cyclist and support team member paid for meals and accommodation, so that all monies raised went to support the two cancer charities.”
At the ceremony, Antoinette Pender’s husband James presented a framed tee shirt signed by all of the South for Susan and Antoinette team, to Beatrice O’Dwyer from O’Dwyer’s
foodstore and deli in Quilty.
“Antoinette was very much the heart and soul of our shop in Quilty and it is a lovely surprise to be presented with the framed shirt. It will be proudly placed in a prominent position, to be seen by all who visit.” said Beatrice.
While the event was a one-off and will not be repeated, the organisers are sure that the ‘goodness’ that was a feature of the lives of Susan O’Neill and Antoinette Pender will ensure
that their spirit and memories will be eternal.