Slieve Donard Challenge
Over 200 people took part in a fundraising walk on Saturday 16th June 2012 to reach the summit of Slieve Donard - the highest mountain in Northern Ireland. Organised by Joan Telford, Branch Manager of Mears Care Lisburn and members of her family, the group was raising money for The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and the total has so far exceeded Â£12,200.
The event has taken months of planning and has been supported by the Mourne Mountain Rescue service, Mourne Runners and the Boys Brigade Duke of Edinburgh team who guided the walkers to the summit. For children and those not able to scale the mountain a nature trail was organised and children were then entertained with some face painting and games. The walkers were also litter picking on the mountain - promoting the 'Leave No Trace' campaign to keep the mountain tidy and between them collected 58 bags of rubbish which was then collected by the local council for disposal. After returning to the base of the mountain, the group were treated to a free BBQ.
People from all over the local area took part, including more than 50 carers from Mears Care, friends and family, and people from local shops, churches and clubs. Mears Group Chairman, Bob Holt, also flew over from London to take part in the event. Local businesses have also been showing their support for the fundraising efforts by donating prizes for the raffle which took part on the day. The star prize was donated by Stena Line and was a ferry crossing for four people and a car to a port of their choice and a Â£100 holiday voucher. Over 35 prizes were donated which helped boost the total by Â£2,500.