A group of hardy Laois swimmers braved chilly lake waters last weekend to kickstart a fundraiser for a popular nature amenity on the Laois Offaly border.
An Ice Mile Challenge took place on Saturday February 19, and it has raised over €3,500 to help maintain and develop Derryounce lakes, trails and parklands on the outskirts of Portarlington.
The nine swimmers who took part are Michelle Grainger, Claire Mathews, Jean Mullally, Valerie Meredith, Andrew Murray, Denise Murphy, Donal Mooney, Eimear Mathews and Mick Cullen. The swimmers aimed to complete the mile swim individually or as a team in water temperature of 5 degrees or lower.
The swim has kickstarted a €20,000 fundraising goal by Portarlington Community Development Association who largely developed the amenity and continue to enhance and keep it clean.
Aidan Mullally is chairperson.
"The funds here will be used for secondary trail re-surfacing, storage container, quarry dust for existing trails, wildlife feeders, bird boxes, duck tubes, waste disposal and removal, regeneration of specialist grasses and plants, signage at entrance including speed limit signs, tools and art.
"Every donation will help fund the daily upkeep of this natural treasure in the heart of the Midlands, Ireland. PCDA are seeking the support of our local and wider communities to contribute towards this fundraiser to allow us to continue to offer a natural, clean, sustainable, and beautiful resource to all who visit the area," Aidan said.
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