Fearless mum braves Donegal’s rough seas to raise over €23,000

first_imgA Donegal-based mum braved the choppy waters of West Donegal to complete a hugely successful charity swim last weekend.Fiona Harrington (27) swam from Owey to Cruit Island on Saturday to raise money for the BUMBLEance children’s ambulance service.While she isn’t an experienced swimmer, Fiona ventured into the water for the 1km swim while her family and friends cheered her on. Speaking to Donegal Daily, Fiona admitted that she was a ‘bit sore’ the day after the swim but overwhelmed to raise more than €23,000 so far. Fiona Harrington’s charity swim from Owey-Cruit Island in aid of BUMBLEanceFiona Harrington’s charity swim from Owey-Cruit Island in aid of BUMBLEanceThe entire feat was inspired by Fiona and her partner Dwain Rodgers’ baby girl, Willow.Willow is seven months old and was born with a life-limiting condition called Smith-Lemli-Opitz.The birth defects caused by the disorder make travelling a huge challenge for the family. But the BUMBLEance service made Fiona and Dwain’s dreams come true in August when they helped them fly with Willow to Bere Island in Cork for a special visit to see Fiona’s parents.“Willow is on oxygen, a feeding tube and morphine. We would never have been able to drive to Cork ourselves. “BUMBLEance flew us from Carrickfinn Airport, which is just behind our house, to Kerry. Then they had a BUMBLEance for us on the runway and brought us to the ferry. It was so nice to bring her to my home. They made our dream come true.”Fiona, who is originally from Cork, was so amazed by the charity service that she wanted to do something to give back.She came up with the idea of an island-island swim, but never expected to raise so much money.So far, the total raised between online and offline donations is estimated at €23,000.Fiona Harrington’s charity swim from Owey-Cruit Island in aid of BUMBLEanceFiona said: “I can’t believe it. At the start, I only expected to get a thousand euro, maybe two.” Looking back on the swim, Fiona said that Saturday’s sea conditions were a challenge during the 40 minute journey.“It was a bit wavy out. I was definitely rougher than I thought it would be,” she said.“It took me a while to get into it at the start. We started on land and I had to swim out through a cove but there was a strong drag there.“I was joined by John Green from the Arranmore Fast Ferry and Judith, a woman from Belfast. “My dad was in a rib with the Arranmore Fast Ferry that came alongside us and he got in to swim beside me at the halfway point. And Dwain was in a rib on our other side taking photos.”Fiona Harrington’s charity swim from Owey-Cruit Island in aid of BUMBLEanceFiona had great support from the Arranmore Fast Ferry and said that she is thankful to every person who donated and helped with the charity swim.There is still time to donate and if you would like to support BUMBLEance, visit Fiona’s fundraising page here:https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fiona-harrington3Fearless mum braves Donegal’s rough seas to raise over €23,000 was last modified: November 5th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SA shines at World Travel Awards

first_imgThe Mount Nelson, in its leafy setting with spectacular Table Mountain behind, is Africa’s Leading Hotel. (Image: South African Tourism) The 2008 Africa World Travel Awards ceremony took place at the Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban. (Image: Albert Luthuli Convention Centre) Graham Cooke of the World Travel Awards and convention centre CEO Miller Matola. (Image: World Travel Awards) Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini with Manon Han of the World Travel Awards. (Image: World Travel Awards)Janine ErasmusFrom top destination to best safari, South African tourism was prominent at the recent World Travel Awards ceremony for Africa, the first Africa regional event in the 15-year history of the awards. Held in Durban in May 2008, the ceremony took place alongside the 2008 edition of the Tourism Indaba, South Africa’s premier travel trade exhibition.Launched in 1993, the World Travel Awards recognise excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry and are voted on by travel professionals from 167 000 tourism-related companies in more than 160 countries. With 919 categories in total, a World Travel Award is viewed as the ultimate honour for a travel product. The influential US-based Wall Street Journal referred to them as the “Oscars of the global travel industry”.Cape Town is Africa’s best destinationSouth Africa won a number of top regional awards with Cape Town winning in the Leading Destination category. “This award will help Cape Town to become more globally competitive as a tourism destination,” said Mansoor Mohamed, of the City of Cape Town’s executive. “Cape Town has built and maintained excellent tourism infrastructure and remarkable experiences.”South African Airways, the national carrier, was named Africa’s Leading Airline and OR Tambo International in Gauteng is Africa’s Leading Airport. In the category of Africa’s Leading Family Resort, the Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa was the winner. Africa’s Leading Travel Agency is Club Travel, the largest independently owned travel agency in South Africa.On the wild side, Africa’s Leading Safari can be experienced at Shamwari Game Reserve, while the luxurious Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve was named as Africa’s Leading Safari Lodge.The venerable Mount Nelson in Cape Town, established in 1899, is Africa’s Leading Hotel. Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand is Sun International, and Sun City, one of Sun International’s flagship resorts, is Africa’s Leading Resort.In the country-specific category, the Saxon was named as South Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel, and the Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays is South Africa’s Leading Business Hotel. South Africa’s Leading Hotel is the Cape Grace, with Thanda Private Game Reserve coming in as the country’s Leading Safari Lodge. Finally, South Africa’s Leading Golf Resort is Fancourt.Visit the World Travel Awards website for a full list of the winners.High standard of African entriesThe Africa leg of the World Travel Awards included 75 categories, and with more than 500 nominations across every sector competition was fierce among the travel agents, tour operators, hotels, resorts, conference centres and other destinations that battled it out for the top spots. South Africa vied with Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe to be recognised as the best African travel product.The standard of entries was extremely high this year, said Manon Han, Executive Vice President of the World Travel Awards. “The World Travel Awards Africa ceremony is proof that the industry is striving for improvement and, crucially, in every aspect of the customer experience. These awards are the most prestigious and highly coveted in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry in Africa,” she added.Graham Cooke, president of the World Travel Awards, said, “We hope that the winners have set a supreme standard of professionalism in Africa with excellent examples of creativity and business acumen that can stimulate others to also raise their performance and their profile, not only within the African industry but worldwide.”Besides Africa, other regions include Asia/Pacific, Caribbean, Central and Latin America, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America. Events are held in all regions and the grand final takes place in December – this year the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean is the coveted destination. The next regional event takes place in Sydney, Australia, followed by Shanghai, China.Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention CentreThe Tourism Indaba and awards ceremony were held at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, formerly known as the International Convention Centre. The centre is one of South Africa’s top conference venues and is itself a multi-World Travel Award winner, having taken top honours as Africa’s leading conference centre a number of times. In fact, the centre took the award again at the 2008 ceremony and just hours before the start of the event CEO Miller Matola signed a deal confirming it as the venue for the 2009 event.Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelethini, just one of the many dignitaries in attendance, opened the 2008 ceremony. In between the awards and dinner guests were entertained by the likes of award-winning local band Freshlyground and up-and-coming group Sterling EQ.The Tourism Indaba is run by South African Tourism, the organisation that markets South Africa’s diverse attractions to the eager overseas market. The organisation was elated by the chance to host the World Travel Awards, said Tourism CEO Jabu Mabuza. “This is a great recognition for our efforts in tourism.”Useful linksSouth African Tourism Tourism IndabaInkosi Albert Luthuli Convention CentreTourism IndabaDepartment of Environmental Affairs and TourismCape Town city websiteThe Mount NelsonDurban city websiteFreshlygroundSterling EQlast_img read more