Laurels Charity Crew on target to raise €1 million

By Hayden Moore 

A TARGET set of a million euro by The Laurels Charity Crew a decade ago has almost been raised with their Santa Cycle in December expected to bring them one step closer to the target.

Established in 2009 by Laurels head barman Denis McCarthy and bar manager Damien Long, they have to date raised over €930,000 for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital as the hospital’s largest non-corporate donor.

Laurels Cycle Crew 05

A cheque for €107,557 was last week presented to the Children's Hospital in Crumlin 

“We’re hoping to achieve the one million next year after our big cycle”, said McCarthy.

Each year the cycle crew put together two different cycles, with a Galway to Dublin one earlier in the year and the Santa Cycle coming at the tail end of the year.

The annual Santa Cycle involves cycling from the Phoenix Park to the Laurel’s Pub in Clondalkin, with the €30 entry fee getting entrants their Santa suit and lights while all proceeds go straight to Our Lady’s.

500 people participated last year and co-founder McCarthy is hoping to build on that again for this year’s event on December 2.

“We are expecting around 500 people to attend this year but we have more signups at this point then we did last year, so there could be a bit more than that.

“It just shows how good the local community is around here and how a strong community can really make a difference.”

After doing plenty of work for Our Lady’s through a project called Straight Ahead, McCarthy reflected on where it all began saying: “It started off as a once off event and now it involves so many people and locals.

“It started off as a conversation about doing a walk, then it was a run, and then a cycle.

“That first one had 27 people, and this year had 220 people” he said highlighting how far the cycle crew had come.

Right on track to break the €1 million for the children’s hospital, Denis has his eyes set on April of next year to get them over the line saying: “Our big cycle from Galway to Dublin in April will hopefully get us there.

“We are hoping to raise another €10,000 this year with the Santa Cycle, and then we will be launching our next one for 2019 after that.”   

Pick up a copy of The Echo today to see a picture page from the event!         

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