The chill in the winter air did nothing to deter the 400 festive cyclists, decked in red Santa suits as they took on the 7.5km night ride through Cork in Ireland last weekend.
Dr. Colm Taylor from the South Infirmary with the scanner purchased from funds raised by last year’s Santa Cycle.
Now in its second year, the event was established by RPS IT Director Connie Wiseman and fellow cyclist and triathlete Neville Foott. This year’s event, sponsored by Ronan Daly Jermyn, has already raised over €14,000 (£12,375/US$16,550/AU$21,815/137,120NOK) for Straight Ahead in association with CMRF Crumlin Children's Hospital and donations are still flowing in.
Last year's first Cork Santa Cycle raised €16,500 (£14,584/US$19,540/AU$25,800/160,965NOK) for the The Laurel Charity Crew and facilitated some valued improvements for children on hospital waiting lists. In particular, the funds raised purchased a €12,000 orthopaedic scanner for South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital in Cork. So far, this has allowed 1,300 children in the region to get scanned and start treatment locally in comfort rather than having to travel to Dublin. Last year’s event was awarded Charity Event of the Year at the Irish Healthcare Centre Awards in March.
Speaking after the event, Connie said ‘We’re delighted with the turn-out and support for our second Cork Santa Cycle. Thanks to all the amazing Santas that joined us on our trek around Cork city. It was a great experience for us and we are blown away by your generosity and support.’
Straight Ahead is a volunteer-led charity operating in association with the Crumlin Children's Hospital that helps fund the pro-bono treatment of children with curvature of the spine and related orthopaedic problems in Ireland. Surgeons and board members give their time, services and expertise freely to the charity. The charity has been able to support and perform 110 procedures on time-critical patients from across Ireland in the last four years, working at full capacity. Through charitable donation of implants from medical suppliers worldwide, time given freely and fundraising/donations, the charity can continue to perform essential spinal operations on young people most needing surgery.
Note: Currency equivalents provided here are approximate and are correct at time of press.