While many of their schoolmates continue their Junior and Leaving Certificate exams, 31 students from Clongowes Wood College in Clane, Co.Kildare, are pushing a three-metre high duck across the country to raise money for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. They commenced their nine-day trek yesterday, Wednesday, June 7.
The charitable group will pass through Tipperary as they make their way from Dublin to Limerick this week. The route followed by the boys (and their feathered friends) will take them through Clane, Newbridge, Monasterevin, Tullamore and Nenagh before they arrive in the Treaty City nine days and 200km later. The early days will see them return to base for overnights while in the second half of the marathon they will be accommodated in Roscrea and Glenstal colleges. Last year, the famous Duck Push raised over €70,000 for the hospital with the funds going towards equipment used in treating patients with cystic fibrosis.
The boys at Clongowes first started pushing ducks along the 200km route in 1994 to raise funds for life saving medical equipment for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital and have raised close to €2 million to date. Equipment purchased has included portable ultra sound machines, an Ocular Coherence Tomography Machine for the Eye Department, a Getinge Autoclave for the Microbiology Laboratory and a Sepak Tissue Processor to help children who need bone marrow transplants.
Chris Lumb, Headmaster at Clongwoes Wood College said: “I am immensely proud of the Transition Year boys that undertake the mammoth initiative that is the annual Duck Push. Their efforts reflect the ethos of the College encouraging boys to be Men for Others – working to help those in the community in such a practical and worthwhile way.”
Lisa Nicole Dunne, CEO of CMRF Crumlin added, “We are delighted that students from Clongowes Wood College have continued to support us so generously year on year. Events such as this help ensure that the one million children who will require support, care and treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, over the next 5 – 6 years can benefit from the best possible environment, with the best equipment and access to cutting edge research. Despite a new hospital on the horizon, these children cannot and should not have to wait. Thank you to all those who have both organised and will participate in this great event, we are extremely grateful.”
This year’s collection will be used towards the purchase of a 3D XRay Machine for the diagnosis of scoliosis in children.
Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital provides care and attention for some of Ireland’s sickest children and taking part in the Duck Push is an essential part of the Transition Year programme in Clongowes and the culmination of a year’s hard work. Before pushing the ducks across the country the students had already raised money through a whole variety of activities ranging from mini companies and pop up cafes to coffee mornings, barbecues and a highly successful Golf Classic in the K Club.
Members of the public are encouraged to contribute to the Duck Push as the boys will collect in the towns en-route or alternatively donations can be made online at My Charity.ie. Organisers are keen to remind people that under no circumstances will door to door collections be taking place.