Whacky road trip raises £8k for charities

Kate Pollock, Grace Daily, Kenzie Twamley and Thomas McKnight from the All Star Special Olympics Club; Deirdre Mally of the NI Hospice and Noeleen McErlane from Pretty 'n' Pink receive cheques from Mark McKnight and Myles McKeown.
Kate Pollock, Grace Daily, Kenzie Twamley and Thomas McKnight from the All Star Special Olympics Club; Deirdre Mally of the NI Hospice and Noeleen McErlane from Pretty 'n' Pink receive cheques from Mark McKnight and Myles McKeown.

Two local men have raised more than £8,000 for three worthy causes by completing a whacky road trip across western Europe.

Myles McKeown and Mark McKnight, both from Glengormley, recently completed the Motoscape Banger Rally, driving from Glengormley to Venice in a 1997 Mercedes which they converted into a ‘Bluesmobile’, crossing 11 countries along the way.

The ‘Blues Brothers with a Hint of Pink’ raised a fantastic £6,600 (£8,100 inclusive of Gift Aid) for local charities, the Northern Ireland Hospice, Pretty ‘n’ Pink Breast Cancer Charity and the All Star Special Olympics Club.

This was the latest in a series of fundraising challenges completed by Myles and Mark.

Three years ago, father-of-four Myles sadly lost his wife Emma to breast cancer. Since then he and Mark have taken on a variety of fundraising challenges, including competing in the Belfast City Marathon in 2011 and 2012.

“This year we wanted to do something a bit different. We bought the car for £350, it had 127,000 miles on the clock and no heating, and at times we did wonder if it would actually make the 3,000 mile trip. But converting the car was great fun, we even gave it a Bluesmobile styled loudspeaker,” Myles, from Rogan Manor, explained.

“The trip was great fun, we met some amazing people and saw some wonderful sights. But the best part of it was the money we raised for our three chosen charities and we are so very grateful to our family and friends for their support, local businesses that sponsored us, and everyone who donated.”