The Laois Vintage Club aims to celebrate its quarter of a century in 2020 by hitting the €1 million mark of funds raised for Laois Hospice at what the organisers hope will be the biggest ever run in the history of the event.
Fresh from the presentation of €39,297 raised in 2019 to Laois Hospice Chairman Seamus O'Donoghue, the club is already planning big for 2020. The amount raised this year brings the club up to €966,000.
Ger Whelan spoke to the Leinster Express about what they have planned.
“Our big goal now is to exceed the €1 million mark. It is also our 25th anniversary run and we hope to make it the biggest vintage road run ever in Laois if not beyond,” he said.
Official preparations get underway at the AGM in February but the club is anxious to put vintage tractor and car owners on standby.
“We will be contacting all vintage clubs not just in Laois but also outside the county to take part,” he said.
Up to 80 vehicles took part in 2019, all aged 30 years or older. The run is restricted to tractors and cars from this age group.
Tractors do a 30-mile round trip while the tractors run up to 89 miles round trip.
Apart from sending out a big call to vintage clubs and owners, the club also hopes the public will get on board with fundraisers.
Last year Ger Whelan held a fundraising shaving event which raised over €10,000. A similar event took place in The Brewery pub, Rathdowney recently.
A big celebration is planned next year for all who participate. The club will also be inviting past members and participants to get involved.
The club is rooted in helping people. It was set up by Tommy Treacy and Mervyn Graham after the funeral of a friend who died from cancer.
The first run was from county hall in Portlaoise to Treacy's Pub on The Heath.
To get involved contact Ger Whelan on 087 2530124 or message their facebook page.
The event takes place on Saturday, August 15.
Scroll through the gallery of photos above taken by Denis Byrne at the annual Laois Vintage presentation event to Laois Hospice at Treacy's of The Heath.