Former RTÉ journalist Charlie Bird has surpassed his goal of raising €1m for the Climb with Charlie fundraiser with just one day left to complete the Croagh Patrick Challenge.
Tens of thousands of people will complete 212 different climbs with 1,333 different fundraisers across the country in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.
Many of the nation’s most famous faces are throwing their support behind the event, which was organized by Charlie Bird following his terminal diagnosis with motor neuron disease last year.
Mr. Bird’s perseverance and character in his fight against the disease has inspired the nation to get involved and do whatever it takes to help people suffering from terminal illnesses or mental health issues.
The official fundraiser on the Climb With Charlie website surpassed €1 million on Friday afternoon, a day before hundreds of climbs take place across the country.
Hundreds of people will also go climbing in the US, South Africa, Australia and Spain, organizing walks and runs across mountains, parklands and town squares.
Charlie and his group of family, friends and supporters have been training on Croagh Patrick this week ahead of their own fundraising climb this weekend.
In a message published on Twitter yesterday, Mr Bird said the response to the fundraiser had been so strong that he now hopes to raise €1 million.
“Two days before promotion we have now raised almost eight hundred and fifty thousand euros and I think we will surpass our one million euro target. Thanks to all who reach out the hand of friendship. I am overwhelmed by what is happening. Thanks,” he wrote.
This morning, Charlie said he now firmly believes the goal will be met, saying that anyone who supports Ascension “reaches out the hand of friendship.”
Thank you to everyone across the country and in many places around the world. I think we will now surpass our goal of raising €1 million for both of our big charities.
Anyone who supports climbing with Charlie extends the hand of friendship. Thanks. pic.twitter.com/devGZgVo5o
— Charlie Bird (@charliebird49) April 1, 2022
Meanwhile, Mr. Bird’s “good friend” Vicky Phelan, who announced earlier this month that she was unable to make the climb due to health reasons, wished all participants in the fundraiser “good luck” in an Instagram post.
“I’m so disappointed I won’t be in Westport this weekend to say goodbye to everyone at the foot of Croagh Patrick but my family will represent me on Saturday,” she said.
“I’m not quite there yet. I walk short distances but my back still causes me quite a bit of pain which my palliative care team is trying to manage. And so I will be with you all in spirit on Saturday, especially my good friend Charlie Bird. Charlie, I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
Ms Phelan said she will be tuning in to the Late Late Show tonight to see Mr Bird and his family discuss the event and “what it means to them”.
“Wishing you all best wishes for Saturday, wherever you are, for Climb With Charlie,” she added.
https://www.independent.ie/news/charlie-bird-fundraiser-smashes-1m-goal-ahead-of-croagh-patrick-climb-41509955.html Charlie Bird fundraiser proposes €1m goal Croagh Patrick climb