Fundraiser in memory of Aodhán O’Donnell under way
A 48-hour fundraiser in aid of Foyle Search and Rescue and in memory of a young Derry man who died suddenly is continuing today.
The event, which was organised by the cousin of Aodhán O’Donnell, involves 48 teams pulling a ‘prowler’ continuously until 1pm tomorrow.
Aodhán was just 19-years-old when he died in 2018.
His family have held a number of fundraising events in memory of the talented hurler and just last year raised around £18,000 for Foyle Search and Rescue.
In the past, family and friends have also raised funds for the charity to purchase a brand new rescue vessel bearing Aodhán’s name.
The most recent fundraiser has been organised by Aodhán’s cousin and best friend, Conal Duffy. The event, which has raised almost £5,000 so far, started yesterday and will conclude on what would have been Aodhán’s 23rd birthday.
Conal, who is a personal trainer, decided to challenge people to pull a piece of gym equipment continuously over a 48 hour period.
The prowler is a heavy sled that can be pushed or pulled along the floor, either as it is or with additional weight added. The equipment is used to develop strength and power.
A different team, consisting of between four and six people, will take on the challenge every hour, with the first and last hour being done by a team including Conal and Aodhán’s parents Moira and Gerry.
“We have got a number of businesses to provide sponsorship and so far we have raised around £5,000. We have also asked anyone taking part in the challenge to share the fundraising link on social media with their own family and friends,” Conal said.
“I am a personal trainer and that is why I chose this particular challenge.”
Conal said he wanted to support FS&R because they were such a huge help to Aodhán’s family and friends.
“They were there throughout the search and helped so much when he passed and even after.”
Conal said it has been a tough year for everyone and he recognised that charities were not able to get the same level of donations.
“Every penny really counts and I am sure FS&R would be happy with the amount we have already raised through the sponsorship. It has been tough financially for so many people, but it would be great to get a bit more for FS&R.”
Conal said the event will also allow Aodhán’s family to mark his birthday and be together.