Derry Bear Run 74 for Foyle Down Syndrome Trust

Some of the fastest and most expensive cars in the world drove through Derry today to raise funds for Foyle Down Syndrome Trust.

By Daire Ní Chanáin
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 6:02 pm

The event was organised by The Bear Run 74 and travelled from Lifford, through Derry to finish in Donegal.

A special VIP event was held on Saturday for the young people in the Mayor’s Charity, The Foyle Down Syndrome Trust.

Mayor Graham Warke said: “I’m delighted to be here today. I couldn’t thank Bear Gamble and all the people that worked with him, there’s so much that he has organised for this event, it’s amazing. It’s been a bit iffy with the weather but it’s not going to put a dampener on it. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life!”

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BEAR RUN 74. . . . .The Mayor, Graham Warke, organisers and parents, children and staff from Foyle Down Syndrome Trust pictured receiving goodie bags from Marissa McGilligan, City of Derry Airport during Saturdayâ€TMs Bear Run 74 VIP event at the airport. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

Bear Gamble, organiser of the event, explained how the Bear Run first started: “I own a car wash in Lifford and I have a love for cars. I had my first car show in 2017 and it was a great success. The only mistake I made was that I didn’t do it for charity. So from then on, we’ve never looked back. We have €36, 440 raised so far. I love a challenge and this was a big one!

“We started in Lifford this morning at 9am and we had a plane come and do smoke signals and Garda Jack helped me cut a red banner for my father. The PSNI met us after Lifford bridge and they helped us stop traffic. I think it was the first time in history that they stopped traffic under the Craigavon Bridge. They even let us do a bit of revving too!

“I have to thank the people in Englinton Flying Club, they have been amazing from day one as well as Paul Walsh and City of Derry Airport. I think it’s the first time there’s been a car show in a live airport.

“It’s been an amazing experience. I can’t fully believe that it has happened yet!

The Mayor pictured with Honour Garda Jack Beattie, Bear Run 74 organiser Keith Bear and PSNI Constable White during Saturdayâ€TMs event.

Stephen Frazer, Managing Director of the City of Derry Airport, said: “Bear is fantastic at organising these sorts of things and Eglinton Flying Club have been great too. The core reason we’re here is to raise money for the Foyle Down Syndrome Trust so we’re pleased to be able to help in any way we can.”

Christopher Cooper, Manager of Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, said: “The work and effort that has gone into this day has been phenomenal. Bringing cars from across the UK and Ireland has been fantastic and it’s amazing to see them support the work of the Foyle Down Syndrome Trust. It’s great to have our young people here too.

“We aren’t funded by any statutory bodies so events like this are what maintains us as an organisation. We have to say a massive thank you to people who turned out in the rain and have been donating and to Bear and the sponsors who made it possible.”

One of the super cars on display - Nigel Hicklin’s £1.3m Porsche on show at Saturday’s Bear Run 74 event at City of Derry Airport.