Cyclists invited to ‘Tour Through East Clare’ fundraiser


Mid-West CYCLISTS were invited on a scenic tour through the towns and villages of East Clare to help raise funds for a community group, writes Dan Danaher.

The seventh annual Tour Through East Clare cycle will take place on Saturday, September 25, to raise much-needed funds for the Kilkishen Development Association (KDA).

All routes will start and end at the Kilkishen Cultural Center and cyclists can choose between 100 km or 50 km routes.

The 100 km route passes through Sixmilebridge, Broadford, Bodyke, Scarriff and up to Mountshannon for a gourmet stopover. From Mountshannon, the cycle continues to Scarriff, Feakle, Glendree and Tulla before returning to Kilkishen.

The 50 km route goes through Sixmilebridge, Broadford, Bodyke and back through Tulla.

The cycle is organized by the Kilkishen Development Association, and all funds raised from this cycle will support the Kilkishen Cultural Center.

Secretary and Treasurer of the Kilishen Cultural Center, Olivia King recalled that the old Protestant church had organized exercise, yoga, pilates, zumba, dance, music lessons, meetings and dance classes. training ahead of its closure due to Covid-19 restrictions.

A major cultural center upgrade costing around € 550,000 was completed in the summer of 2015, which included a local contribution of around € 150,000 following several fundraisers to match the grants other sources such as Clare LEADER, who provided over € 386,000. This left an unpaid debt of € 7,000.

While the cultural center has been closed for 18 months, the KDA hopes to be able to host certain activities like yoga and dance classes in limited numbers from September 20, when the next easing of Covid-19 restrictions will be announced.

With inquiries already coming from local groups, the KDA has set September 20 as its provisional reopening date.

Like most community groups, the KDA has not been able to launch any major fundraising events, but still has to pay for costs such as insurance and heating.

Ms King recalled earlier this year that the KDA had to set up a GoFundMe page to do essential repairs costing around € 2,500 at the local playground.

“We got great support from the community for this call. It is very difficult to have meetings because we have to operate on Zoom, which is not ideal for a community group.

“We had two cycle meetings in the cultural center because we had a small group and could do social distancing. It makes such a difference to be able to meet in person.

“The Tour Through East Clare is one of our main fundraising events. We did it last year on a smaller scale. We hope to return to more normal figures this year.

“We are looking for applications from local cycling clubs and members of non-cycling clubs. The cultural center is a major focal point for the region. We have been raising funds for ten years.

The Kilkishen Community Playground, which opened in 2010, is a very popular local facility.

A safety inspection carried out earlier this year highlighted a significant risk on both swings.

As a temporary measure, the committee removed the seats from them to avoid the risk of injury.

The swings were repaired as part of general maintenance work thanks to the GoFundMe page, which raised € 2,525.

Online registration is required at Detailed road maps and other details of this year’s event will be posted on the “Tour Through East Clare” Facebook page. Any support would be greatly appreciated.

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