Every two years Hays Ireland chose a new charity to support through fundraising activities. In March 2018, their friend and colleague James Lundy, died suddenly. He was a huge part of their business and loved getting involved in their charity efforts. Philip Bourke told us they’d memories of him running down Mweelrea in Co Mayo, while the rest of them strolled/tumbled, so that he could get into the car to do the supermarket run for their supplies before the rest of them had to lift a finger. In January 2019, when it came to choosing their charity they felt it was a no brainier. CRY had helped James’ family and a lot of the staff through a very traumatic time and pouring their energy into helping CRY raise funds for OUR new centre became their focus. Last October they took off to James’s home town, Ballina, for the Test in the West, a two day cycling and running challenge followed by a climb up Croagh Patrick.
From early January 2020 plans were afoot by #teamHAYS to create another event . The plan was to cover the highest peak in each of the four provinces in a weekend but COVID-19 changed all that.
Thinking caps on & the idea was born to create something that was challenging but easy for everyone to take part in – #StepUpForCRY with a goal to clock up 45 Million steps collectively & raise funds – over 30 days (20 April – 20 May) and 100 Hays colleagues, family & friends signed up with participants from their Dublin, Cork, Limerick Galway offices as well family & friends in Kildare, Meath, Laois and Birmingham taking part.
So on Friday 20th the final steps were counted and the #team had SteppedUp 43,264,027 – just short of their 45 Million target.
Our Chairman Tommy Fegan spoke with Philip to let #teamHays know that we were delighted with their fantastic achievement and asked them to extend the challenge over the weekend to achieve that magic number and to give us in CRY a chance to get behind their efforts. Tommy, Lucia Ebbs, Kate Farrell and Helena Fitzgerald were straight in to support – Tommy remembering his son Kevin and Lucia, Kate & Helena remembering Kate’s daughter Jenny and always remembering James Lundy.
By Friday Tommy Fegan had galvanised the extended family and had set a personal target of 1,000,000 steps on behalf of the Fegan family in memory of James Lundy and Tommy’s son, Kevin, who died suddenly in 2010. Challenge on. The Fegans from Newry, Donegal, Glasgow, Liverpool, Milton of Campsie in Scotland and the Middle East. The family of friends Cathy & George Davis from Albany, New York (who were due to host a Curragh Race on the Hudson for CRY in June 2020) Austin Comerford, Radio Presenter in Ottawa, the County Down Saval Ladies were all in and we’d steps counted to the summit of Hen Mountain in the Mourne Mountains.
Everyone took up the challenge and some serious steps were logged! By 23:59 on Sunday they had collectively walked 2,605,415. (see a variety of pictures from the Camloch Mountain, Newry, Scotland, to Albany NY)
Meanwhile #teamHays continued their steps too – and what a weekend it was! We stormed across the finish line with some seriously impressive numbers!
The #StepUpForCRY total came in at 50,451,886! The incredible sum of €21,085.37 was raised online.
The Covid_19 pandemic has confounded our fundraising. As most of our events are precipitated almost entirely on face-to-face social events, family led – driven mainly by families of the bereaved and our centrally led events like #PureStyle and our Camino challenge Covid has led to the cancellation of all planned events for the Charity.
The Hays initiative has demonstrated that, with imagination, vision and enthusiasm, other ways of fundraising without the dangers of close personal contact, are possible.
For the funds, the PR we received and showing us the way forward, we are deeply indebted to each and every one of the Hays’ team, their wider circle of families and friends and our own fantastic Fegan & Farrell families.
#RememberJames, Kevin & JennyJewel