Galway’s Marine Institute has put together a fine festive gift for local RNLI lifeboat stations, raising almost €5,000 for the lifesaving charity with their Galway to the North Pole Challenge.
Marine Institute staff set themselves the challenge of walking, running, swimming, and cycling the 4068km distance from their Headquarters in Renville, Galway to the North Pole over a period of three weeks.
Taking part where and whenever they could, staff at the Marine Institute raised a total of €4,862 over the course of the three week challenge.
Dr. Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute praised his staff and their families and friends who took part during November and December. “Throughout wet days and dark nights we came together for this very worthy charity with great enthusiasm and energy.
“I want to commend everyone who stepped up for the RNLI and who made a donation. Together it was downhill. I also want to thank the RNLI staff and volunteers that do so much for our coastal communities. They are true heroes.”
The RNLI has seen a drop in income in 2020 as traditional fundraising activities had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
This was despite the lifesaving charity having to spend extra funds to ensure its volunteer lifeboat crews had the vital PPE, such as face masks and gloves to keep their lifesavers safe.
But still these volunteers have risen to the occasion spectacularly this year, with local RNLI stations responsible for 78 rescues and lives saved in 2020.
Galway RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan says the efforts of the Marine Institute staff will make a real impact to the charity in 2021.
“We are delighted to hear that the team at the Marine Institute have successfully completed their North Pole Challenge. And what a challenge it was to trek a virtual 4,068km from their headquarters to the North Pole.
“The RNLI would like to congratulate and sincerely thank everyone who participated or played a role in the organisation of what has been a wonderful festive fundraiser.”
“Our volunteer crews have had a challenging year but thankfully, with many additional safety measures and procedures in place to ensure their safety, we have remained on call 24/7 throughout the pandemic.
“As a charity, the RNLI relies on the support of the public to continue saving lives. The best Christmas gift RNLI volunteers can wish for is a kind donation or a fundraiser such as this novel one from the Marine Institute team.”
“Funds raised will provide the lifesaving kit our crews need when they are at sea and helping to bring someone to safety.”