Bernie McMahon from Bernie Macs bar at the Old Bridge, Clonmel has been organising annual sponsored walks, helping various charity groups, for many years as a very special way of honouring the memory of a very special girl, her late daughter Hayley McMahon. This year Bernie approached the Clonmel Special Olympics Bowling Club with an offer of support and the event was all the more poignant as 2013 marks the year of Hayley’s 21st birthday.
The walk, which set off from the bar last Friday evening, was kept short(ish) and on the flat to enable all to take part, and the group was waved off on their merry way from Bernie Macs and welcomed back again to begin what was one of their best nights out of the year. Walkers ranged from the very young in buggies right up to the very young at heart and everyone in between. Even some gorgeous little dogs came to join in the fun. Spirits were high and the overall atmosphere was excellent – there was so much eagerness surrounding this event that along with the official walk commencing at 7 o’clock, a few ramblers couldn’t wait and took off before 6.30.
The entire event was a great success thanks to the brilliant turnout. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted and it was anything but small on this occasion. Many turned out well prepared with comfortable trainers and walking sticks, though the walk was well under way when the forgotten bottles of water were found to be still in Bernie Macs, though they disappeared fast when the participants returned. One girl returned from the walk like diddle diddle dumpling my son John, with one shoe off and one shoe on – but she still had a smile on her face.
The barbecue that followed went down a treat. Bernie was MC extraordinaire with a mountain of raffle prizes in the draws. Incredible generosity was shown by the donations of so many prizes and a tribute must also be paid to James Burke in this regard also.
Syl Murray spoke on behalf of Clonmel Special Olympics Bowling Club, who were delighted for their athletes to benefit from such a fantastic fundraiser and to raise awareness of the club in the local community. Some magical moments were captured, happy memories created and everyone surrounded themselves with laughter while friendships new and old, as well as a bit of romance, were made and rekindled.
The superb combined sounds of Ross Stafford, Stevie Hill, Toss Hill, Johnny Allen and Martin Keane entertained well into the night and the crowd couldn’t help but join in, singing and dancing the night away. Four of these lads are also members of local group Tipperary Ramblers.
Huge thanks is extended to the management, staff and patrons of Bernie Macs for all their co-operation, generosity and for organising not only the sponsored walk but also the barbecue, raffle and music, as well as the tremendous help and support of the Everyday Heroes who helped out in any way and without whom the event could not have taken place - together everyone really did achieve something very special.