Cycle challenge raises £17,000 for NI Hospice

The M2M Cycle Challenge team - Gary McColskey, Alan Blaney, Nick Bonar, Paul Bonar, Marty Colvin, Garry Carpenter, Mark Grain, Michael McRoberts, David McKelvey, Ced Bonar and Des Bonar - visited the NI Hospice In-patient Unit at Whiteabbey Hospital to hand over the cheque for �17,703. INNT 51-500CON
The M2M Cycle Challenge team - Gary McColskey, Alan Blaney, Nick Bonar, Paul Bonar, Marty Colvin, Garry Carpenter, Mark Grain, Michael McRoberts, David McKelvey, Ced Bonar and Des Bonar - visited the NI Hospice In-patient Unit at Whiteabbey Hospital to hand over the cheque for �17,703. INNT 51-500CON

A group of local men who completed an epic 420-mile charity cycle challenge this summer have raised more than £17,000 for NI Hospice.

Paul and Nick Bonar, along with their brother-in-law Marty Colvin, organised the Mizen Head to Malin Head sponsored cycle - the M2M Challenge - in memory of their late father, Ken, who passed away at NI Hospice 20 years ago after a long illness.

Between June 18 and 21, Paul, Nick and Marty, along with friends Gary McColskey, Alan Blaney, Garry Carpenter, Mark Grain, Michael McRoberts and David McKelvey, cycled the length of Ireland. Their support team, Ken’s brothers Ced and Des Bonar, were with them every mile of the route.

The team’s efforts attracted considerable sponsorship and numerous generous donations, helping them raise a staggering £17,703 for NI Hospice.

Nick and Paul spoke about the care their father received at the Hospice and why they chose to support the charity.

“We wanted to hold this event as a tribute to our father Ken, 20 years after he passed away at Somerton Road Hospice. Words cannot describe the care he received from the Hospice staff and volunteers at that difficult time. With the focus on the NI Hospice rebuild appeal at present and in our dad’s 20th anniversary year, we thought this was a fitting time to fundraise. Our donation of £17,703 will go towards this appeal and hopefully make a huge difference to patients and families who need to use the new Hospice,” Paul explained.

“Our thanks go out to everyone who supported us in our fundraising over the past few months and those who helped us successfully complete our difficult challenge,” Nick added.

Deirdre Melly, Community Fundraiser for NI Hospice commented: “On behalf of NI Hospice, thank you so much to Team M2M for raising such an outstanding amount. We are overwhelmed by the amount raised and would like to congratulate the entire team for successfully completing such a gruelling challenge. Their donation, in memory of Ken Bonar, will be put to good use helping us to build a hospice facility fit for the future.

“The race is now on to raise the remaining 10 per cent of funds needed to complete and furnish the state-of-the-art project. Donations like this are vital in ensuring we continue to provide the best care for families with life-limiting illnesses.”

For more information about NI Hospice, or to get involved in fundraising, call 028 9078 1836 or email fundraising@nihospice.org