Magheralin native, Eamon Wright, is donning his walking shoes to walk ten miles on Friday - at the fair age of 81!
Eamon, just two months shy of his 82nd birthday, will walk from his hometown, Magheralin, to Lurgan and back to raise funds for Southern Area Hospice Services, a very special cause which he has supported for some time now.
“A while back, I started collecting change while I was out walking the dogs,” Eamon explained.
“Then my family got interested; now quite a few of them set aside their small change - we collect it together and send £150-£200 to the Hospice every year.” This time, however, Eamon is going a little further than just a doddle with the dogs, and his usual fundraising target has smashed through the roof too.
“At the minute, I’m touching £2,500 in donations,” he said.
Most surprisingly, Eamon has managed to reach his current total without the use of social media or online campaigns - instead vouching for traditional paper sponsorship forms and the generosity of friends and neighbours:
“It’ll make my walk that bit easier on the foot, knowing so much has been raised. I send my donations through the Southern Area Hospice Friends Support Group in Lurgan, and want to let them know that the work they’re doing is being recognised. The Hospice needs £2.3 million a year to survive.”
Eamon plans to complete the walk by himself, though not without a little support from the family:
“My wife will be driving the car along behind me, and my two granddaughters, Kelie and Ellie, are planning to walk some of it with me. I’m starting at the Centra shop in Magheralin at 4pm, and it will hopefully take me between three and three and a half hours.”
All of the money Eamon raises will go directly to the Hospice, which provides critical care - free of charge - to people who are living with cancer, MS, motor neurone disease and other life-limiting illnesses, as well as giving ongoing support to families.