Mayor of Waterford Metropolitan District, Cllr. Lola O' Sullivan about to start "Wheelie good fun".A small army of scooters, flickers, bikes, wheelchairs, skateboards, prams, trikes and roller blades took to the streets of Tramore on Sunday, 7th July to have some ‘Wheelie Good Fun’ for a really great cause.
The fundraising event was organised by Emma Butler, a personal assistant with the Irish Wheelchair Association, along with Sonya Butler – mother of 10-year-old wheelchair user Alex – and a number of other parents who are determined to raise enough money for specialised play equipment so that all children will be able to enjoy Tramore’s new Inclusion Park.
“At the moment children with special needs are extremely limited as to what they can do in the play park”, Emma explained. “Initially the plan was to raise enough money to install a roundabout that has been specifically designed to accommodate two wheelchairs and two safety seats for children with limited mobility, as well as space for able-bodied children. This would allow children of all abilities to interact with each other and would ultimately mean that a child will be allowed to play and to laugh with his/her peers. This is something so simple, but that the majority of us just take for granted.”
Emma said she was overwhelmed with the turnout at Wheelie Good Fun.
“It was a great success and raising the money was brilliant, people were so generous with their donations. The total raised came to €2083 and people on the day were talking about it coming along again next year.
“But the awareness Wheelie Good Fun has brought is also amazing. You could tell by the looks on some of the kids’ faces…they realised that people were there for them. That means so much. Amongst the people who gave donations were Cantec, who designed and sponsored posters and Sandra and Paul Kelly who sponsored the tshirts, Atlantic View Caravan Park, Carey Coaches, Book a Room, Tesco Tramore and Ballybeg, Lake Tour Stables and Liam Butler. Businesses who donated vouchers and hampers for the raffle on the day were Lake Tour Stables, Smyths, Craig Mayer, Alfie Hales, Dunnes, Aisling Murphy Reflexology, John Butler Physique Therasuit Therapy, Headmasters, Beautique, Unique Aquatics & Fittness, Just Couture, Eagle down Web Design, Derek Rowe Body Shape Performance, Sam Mc Cauleys, Lily O’Brien, Margaret Brooke, Hallmark and Tony Weldon Tesco Tramore.”
Emma and Sonya are now working with the committee originally responsible for the Inclusion Park to advance their plans.
“We had a meeting with the committee a few days after the fundraiser and we are now working together to get a wheelchair swing in place as soon as possible at the Park, as the committee has funds left over and Wheelie Good Fun will fund the balance. The remainder of what was raised in Tramore last Sunday week will go towards the fund for a wheelchair roundabout. After that, we will all continue to work together to get the wheelchair roundabout in place. So many people have approached me with ideas for fundraising that they have planned, I can’t thank them enough.”