Local pedigree beef farmer, Eamon McGarry, from Dunrod, has raised £1035 for local health charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke in memory of his father Paul who passed away in April 2017 at the age of 51.
The money was raised through an endurance go-karting event which took place on Saturday, 28th April at Nutts Corner.
Eamon recalls: “Dad was a big character. He lived and breathed breeding and showing cattle. He had taken our pedigree Blonde cattle to the Balmoral Show for years and he finally won in 2016. The day he died, he was doing what he loved most. We were helping a neighbour calve a cow and had just calved one and had started on the second. And then it happened. He had a massive heart attack and dropped dead, right in front of me. That was it. He was gone.
“He’d been in great form all day. He hadn’t said he was feeling ill or had any pains. He was due to go for a diabetes check-up the following week. He’d only been diagnosed a year. We sometimes wonder whether that check-up would have picked up on anything. But there is no point thinking of that. His death is so hard to deal with but we just have to work with it.”
Within a month, the Blonde Cattle society, that Paul and Eamon were members of, had raised £1300 for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke at the Balmoral Show 2017. This year Eamon decided to organise his own fundraising event – a go-karting endurance race at Nutts Corner. Eighteen teams of seven people raced continuously for 3.5 hours. The total raised at this event was £1035.
Eamon commented: “I do a lot of work at Nutts Corner so a karting event was an obvious idea, for me anyway. Dad would probably have thought otherwise. He did karting once and nearly wrecked himself. But he would have enjoyed getting together with family and friends.”
Valerie Saunders, Community Fundraising Co-ordinator for NICHS, thanked Eamon and his family and friends. “Over 80% of NICHS’s work relies on donations from the public, without which we would not be able to make a difference to so many local lives. I want to thank Eamon, the McGarry family and the local community for raising this money to help others,” she added.