Chairperson of Relay for Life Donegal Robert O’Connor is retiring on a high note after revealing that this year’s event raised an amazing €92,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.
Mr O’Connor is one of the original members of the committee that has done trojan work raising hundreds of thousands of euro Donegal over the past 11 years.
And as the curtain came down on another incredible weekend, Robert revealed it was time to hand over the reins.
On his decision to step away, Robert declared: “The time was right for me and the future is open up to new opportunities.”
It had, he said, been a privilege to work with the various committees over the years.
He also thanked his family for their support to him since Relay got off the ground in Donegal.
Thanking Daniel and Majella O’Donnell, Patron of Relay for Life Donegal and Global Hero of Hope respectively, the outgoing chairperson described the Relay initiative as an “amazing event”.
Funding is on the up this year, as the 2021 event raised over €73,000, but the 2023 total is still being counted up!
The 29 teams who took part in this year’s event have been praised for their stellar effort.
In his closing address on Sunday outgoing chairperson Robert acknowledged all those who had participated and helped in any way with the 2023 event including teams (numbers in this regard up from twenty last year), the many singers and musical acts who gave of their time generously to perform between Saturday and Sunday, and his committee, two of whom, Ena Barrett and Drew Corry, had been involved from the very outset.
There was also special mention of the survivors and carers who had taken part and all those who had passed away since the 2022 Relay.
Also speaking during the closing ceremony as walkers completed their laps on the pitch, Donal Kavanagh, highlighted the “vision” that Robert had shown in organising Relay for Life Donegal.
There were presentations to Robert and his wife, Hazel, including a voucher and a bouquet of flowers along with a special print of Fanad Lighthouse – Donal offering a comparator in the words in the specially composed song, ‘War’, “a beacon of hope that helped save lives.”
Meanwhile, after the final proceeds are totted up from this year’s event, a special presentation night will take place in September.