18 Aug 2022

KILDARE PICTURES: Massive community support for Kildangan’s Alan Mahon 5km event

Huge community fundraiser in aid of Kildangan National School

Deirdre Mahon and her children at the fundraiser in memory of her late husband Alan

A committee of people from Kildangan and the wider community came together to organise an event to remember local man Alan Mahon on his third anniversary. Alan, who lived in Kildangan and was formerly of Monasterevin, died tragically on June 30, 2019, while climbing Mt Elbrus in Russia, Europe’s highest mountain.

According to the committee, “when we started planning this back in March, we had three main goals — firstly, to remember Alan on his third anniversary; secondly, to bring the community together for an evening gathering and give everyone a chance to catch up with their neighbours and friends; and thirdly, to raise funds for Kildangan National School.”

The event exceeded all expectations and well over 1,000 people turned out to pay tribute to Alan and his short-lived life, in what was a very special evening of walking and running. The 5km walk and run event on Thursday, June 30, was followed by entertainment and hospitality in Kildangan GAA.

There was also a great display of community spirit evident in Kildangan on the evening. Over 100 people in the village and wider community volunteered and helped out in the build up and on the night.

People gave their time, services, land for parking, and donated brilliant prizes for the monster raffle that took place. Everyone contributed where they could in every way, no matter how big or small, and nothing was an issue.

Said the committee: “For such a small village — it really is a very special place — the way the whole community came together to support this event. Alan's spirit was present throughout the evening. The weather also participated, it was a warm evening and the rain stayed away.”

There were many children's activities on the evening, a barbeque with live music, and all the local clubs participated. There were arts and crafts, bowls, scouts, Kildangan GAA, pony rides and much more. A highling was a football kicking demonstration given to the kids by Kildare GAA hero Daniel Flynn that had the youngsters very excited indeed.

The chipped run was timed by Just Runs from Kildare town. Lisa from Just Runs Events said the route was a great hit as the roads were closed off inside Kildangan Stud and the level of hospitality on the night was exceptional and far from the norm.

She could not get over the friendly atmosphere with a huge mix of young and old.

Tea and coffee with gorgeous home bakes were provided by the parents of the children of the school. The event raised in excess of €20,000 for Kildangan NS.

Participants got to visit the beautiful grounds of Kildangan Stud, and a bus tour provided those that couldn’t walk the route with the unique opportunity of a guided tour.

“Nothing was an issue and everyone gave everything to ensure this was a very special evening. It was a really enjoyable event with smiles all round. Congratulations Kildangan you certainly know how to entertain. It may be a small place but it has a big warm heart. Alan is sure to have been looking down smiling.

“Everybody left asking just one question. Is it happening next year?”

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