On Saturday 7th September 2019, Rachael McMinn, Lois Bingham, Roberta Simmons, Matthew Murphy, Colin McMinn, Jonny Adams, John McCabe, Gareth Hanna, Hannah Cromie, Stephen Gordon, Ella McCallister, and Gareth McCabe set off from Rathfriland Young Farmers’ Club hall to embark on their 75km cycle celebrating 75 years of Rathfriland YFC.
The cycle left Rathfriland and passed through Castlewellan, Newcastle, Annalong, Kilkeel, Rostrevor, Warenpoint and into the Southern Area Hospice (St John’s House) in Newry.
The 75km cycle saw the volunteers battle gruelling hills throughout the Mourne Coastal Route all in aid of a fantastic cause.
The club would like to thank everyone who made this day possible including, Cloughmor Adventure Centre for their co-operation and lend of the bicycles at very short notice, Vera and Ernie Rathfriland for providing the most delicious breakfast, setting participants up for the day.
To the Barbican, Annalong for a beautiful lunch and very generous donation.
Gilfresh Produce for providing the tractor for Simon Agnew to set the pace with as well as the very kind and generous donation.
To the parents who drove behind the cyclists as a safety vehicle and the bucket collectors who stood in each town lifting money.
To the cyclists themselves who gave up their time and energy cycling the tough route and last but not least a massive thank you to every member of the public who has donated to this cause so far.
The Southern Area Hospice Services has provided invaluable support to the community and thus members are delighted to have them as partner charity for such a milestone year.
The club now look forward to their 75th anniversary dinner to be held on Saturday, October 19 in the Belmont Hotel, Banbridge.
Tickets are currently on sale at £35 to include drinks reception, three course meal and music by the fantastic Untouchables band.
They can be purchased by contacting Stephen Gordon (club leader) on 07871039833.
If any member of the public has past memorabilia from the club that they would like to display on the night of the dinner, they would be delighted to hear from you.
Please contact Lois Bingham on 07842500186.
If any business would like to provide a raffle prize or sponsorship for the evening, you can do so by contacting Lois Bingham on 07842500186.
Any donation will receive a high level of publicity in local, national and farming/business press as well as a mention in the 75th anniversary program which will be distributed on the evening of the dinner.
At the end of their 75th year the club will have a monetary presentation to the Southern Area Hospice which will be a proportion of proceeds raised through the various events they propose to hold throughout the year.
In further news, Rathfriland YFC held their annual new members night on Monday, September 9. After a busy weekend the club were delighted to welcome 15 new members.
The evening included ice breaker games, information on the club and the YFCU as an organisation and was rounded off in the usual way, with a delicious pizza supper.
It is not too late to join. You can still do so if you are aged between 12-30, have an interest in meeting life long friends and want to join the best rural youth organisation in Northern Ireland.
If you would like to know more contact club secretary Matthew Murphy on 07713814465. YFCU is a non sectarian, non political organisation so everyone is welcome.