Charity ‘Virtual Night Run’ attracts almost 2,000 participants!

The 6th Annual Croí Night Run (5km) scheduled for October 9th was yet another in a line of West of Ireland charity fundraising events that had to be ‘re-imagined’ due to Covid-19. Despite having to be changed to a ‘virtual event’, the Night Run which has become one of the charity’s biggest annual fundraising events, exceeded all expectations this year, attracting almost 2,000 participants and raising over €70,000.

Thanks to the event sponsor, Evergreen Healthfoods, 100% of proceeds from this event will go directly to Croí. This year’s media sponsor, iRadio, partnered with Croí in the run up to the event and throughout the day with motivational programming to encourage runners as they took on their 5k.

One of the unexpected benefits of becoming a ‘virtual’ event was that runners and walkers from all over the west of Ireland and indeed from as far away as Perth, Australia and New York USA were able to participate. Just under 2,000 people across towns & villages throughout counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Donegal, Clare and Limerick, together with hundreds of people throughout Ireland, UK, Europe, Australia and USA did their own 5km walk or run on Oct 9th or on subsequent nights in support of the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.

“While we were disappointed not to be able to have our annual Night Run on the Salthill Promenade this year, our first priority is to protect those we serve as they are most at risk of COVID-19, so we decided to pivot to a virtual event.   We have been overwhelmed by the show of support from all of those who have joined us in the new format ”says Croí’s Director of Fundraising, Christine Flanagan.

Speaking after the event, Croí CEO Neil Johnson said “the level of support this year has been phenomenal. Despite all the challenges of the pandemic, people has shown enormous generosity and demonstrated huge support for our work. At a time of greatest need, we are hugely grateful to everyone who supported us. The funds raised this year will be used to support our Covid Response Initiatives which include ‘Heartlink West’ – a dedicated phone and on-line support service for those living with or affected by heart disease and stroke. Our multi-disciplinary health team are responding to up to 80 calls per week from across the west of Ireland from those with heart and stroke concerns and worries as a consequence of Covid-19 ”

The Croí Heartlink West support and advice service is available free of charge, Monday to Friday by calling 091-544310.

Christine Flanagan, Director of Fundraising, Croí; Kieran & Aideen Hurley, Owners, Evergreen Healthfoods