Picture credit: Darkness Into Light Mountmellick Facebook.
The Pieta House annual fundraiser, Darkness Into Light 5km walk/run, will take place in Mountmellick and Rathdowney in the early hours of this Saturday morning, May 12.
The Mountmellick walk begins at Mountmellick GAA pitch in Acragar at 4.15am sharp. Event organiser, Susan Nelson, offered some advice to over 1,300 registered participants.
"There are two car parks, one is at the boy's primary school on Davitt Road and the second is Supervalu. There is no parking at the GAA grounds for health and safety reasons.
"We are asking people to give plenty of time to park up and walk to the GAA pitch for the starting line, people should aim to park up between half three and quarter to four in the morning, the walk starts at exactly 4.15am," she said.
Susan also advised that people carpool to ease the burden of parking. If people are travelling from other towns they should try to share lifts.
All registration for the event was online this year. No registration will be accepted on the morning of the event and no t-shirts will be available on the morning. Anyone who still wants to go along and donate on the morning will not be turned away but won't be counted in the official register.
Tea, coffee, water and soup will be served at the GAA grounds to everyone as they complete the 5km walk/run at their own pace.
Two students from Mountmellick Community School, Leah Tarpey and Mia Ledesmo, will be welcoming people back to the finish line with music and songs.
While 1,300 people have officially registered for the Mountmellick walk through the online system, organisers expect the total number taking part to be much higher.
This is Mountmellick’s 7th year holding the event and to date the town has raised over €125,000 from the previous 6 years. In 2017, the Mountmellick walk raised €33,000 which went directly to Pieta House.
In the past six years, Pieta House has supported 257 clients from Laois and provided them with the services they needed, all free of charge.
A second official Darkness Into Light walk takes place in Rathdowney at 4.15am on Saturday, May 12. Last year the Rathdowney walk raised almost €9,000 for Pieta House.
The walk starts from the Parochial Hall, goes up Main Street, out the Errill Road, turn right for Belady, turn right again at next junction, past the Glebe and back into the Square again.
Again, registration was to be completed online ahead of the event.
Rathdowney Darkness Into Light committee, Aidan Madden, Rachael Hickey and Barbara Geoghegan presented €8,894 to Pieta House after the 2017 walk.
Pick up a copy of next Tuesday's Leinster Express to see pictures from the walks at the weekend.