HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Gemma Quinn / 2008-01-01 13:23:24
Fundraisers See In 2008 With The Annual Swim to see off 2007 and welcome in 2008.
It was the morning after the night before and a group of brave, some may say silly, fundraisers, took the plunge in to the chilly Mediterranean Sea for the annual New Years Day swim to see off 2007 and welcome 2008.
It was all to raise money for cancer charity the A.E.C.C. and kick-starts this years fundraising which will allow them to be able to continue providing vital early cancer detection tests and fund the palliative care unit.
Dennis Barr started the swim with his wife Kathleen 6th years ago. Both lost their mothers to cancer and after running a bar and doing a number of fundraising events for animal charity S.A.T.'s their thought they would take it further and donate money to the A.E.C.C. "Someone suggested we do a swim and its gone on ever since. We did a few race nights last year as well and raised about 1600.00€ With that in mind it would be a fantastic start to 2008 if they could reach the 2000€ mark. We've been collecting already for a couple of weeks and that money has already been sent down to the A.E.C.C. This lot will be sent soon as I always like to hand over the money as soon as possible."
As the swimmers prepared to take the plunge at 11am, a large gathering had formed on La Zenia beach to see what was going on, some walking off hangovers, others relaxing in the sunshine. Due to some concern over a large number of jellyfish, the swim was restricted to a quick in and out before a well deserved coffee and brandy to warm up the fundraisers, before heading back to An Sibin's for some refreshments and a general knees up to start the year in style.
An Sibin's owner Marcel Duval has supported and helped organised the swim along with Gogarty's bar in La Zenia. This is Marcel's 4th year, although the first year he went to the wrong beach! So what makes him get in to a chilly sea after a long night of partying? "It was a bet, my barman and one of the customers said 'you go, we go' and so it was as simple as that. It's just fun and for a good cause."
Allison and Elly were the only female swimmers this year. Representing Gogarty's, Elly said simply, "It was freezing. I can't feel my legs but I'm sure I shed about 20 pounds!" But despite the coldness she said she will be back next year.
"Cold but good" were the comments from Brian Kirk who has raised around 70€ himself. It was also the first New Years Day dip for Graham. He was roped in by a friend and shared the same opinion of everyone else. "The water was cold, but it's ok because it's all for charity."