Rotarians get On Line preparing for Marathon funding raising Challenge

Shaun Oneill


Shaun Oneill


 BALLYMENA Rotary Club have launched their online Global Giving facility for their 10 Virtual Marathon Challenge throughout this weekend (September 18-20) to raise much needed funds for the Samaritans, St.Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and Turning Point NI.

If you would like to help and would be happy to either do some walking to help us meet our 10 marathon Challenge or simply make a donation please just go to the link above.

The plan for the ‘Rotary 10 Virtual Marathon Challenge’ is as follows:

As many Rotarians as possible will walk 10,000 steps over this weekend - September 18-20.

Rotarians will ask 7 or 8 friends to take part (in this way, each team will jointly complete the equivalent of a full marathon);

Each participant will be asked to make a £10 donation.

“We would appeal to members of the public to help with this venture. You could start out from your own front door either as individuals or with your own family and friends (ensuring social distancing guidelines are observed),” said a Rotary spokesman.

“Your donation could make a real difference. Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on each of these 4 charities. Please help us to help them make a real difference in our local community.”

The spokesman continued - “We would love you to take part but if you are not taking part, we would be very grateful for any donations through Global Giving. The link is” Details have been posted on their Facebook page.

Actively involved in fund raising

Over the years, the Rotary Club has been actively involved in Fundraising events.

Money raised has been used to support a wide range of charities in our local community. Due to Covid-19, the Club is not in a position to hold its ‘normal’ fundraising events.

However, they are very conscious that there has never been a greater need for support for these charitable organisations whose ongoing support for the local community is vital.

The Club continues to meet by Zoom and has been considering new ways to raise much-needed funds of which this ‘Rotary 10 Virtual Marathon Challenge’ is the first.

Very much in need of funds

The four charities they are supporting are very much in need of funds.

The Samaritans provides a confidential listening service for those who are distressed and may be thinking of ending their life by suicide.

Since the start of the current pandemic they have handled over 5,000 calls in the Ballymena area.

A donation of just £10 would keep the Samaritans’ phone line open for 2 days while £100 could train a new volunteer.

As a cross community charity, St Vincent de Paul provides financial support, fuel, furniture and bedding, white goods, and food and clothing to individuals and families in need within the Ballymena area.

Since Covid-19, the Society’s income has been significantly reduced at the very time when the needs of the community have increased.

A donation of £15 would provide two small bags of coal while £20 would provide a basic food shop for a single person.

Local members of the Salvation Army have been actively involved in making scrubs for frontline staff in addition to continuing to provide food and clothing to those in need.

Local volunteers anticipate a significant increase in demand for their services as the level of local unemployment increases.

A donation of £30 could top up a family’s electricity and gas for a week.

Turning Point NI has experienced an increase in demand for its confidential support service as those who struggle with mental health issues have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

There are real concerns that there is likely to be an increase in addictive behaviours and suicide.

The organisation has recently had to move to larger premises in order to cope with increasing demand. £70 would cover the cost of renting their premises for one day.

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