Bands stepping it out for children’s hospice

Larne band members taking part in the "12th to the Twelfth" 300k step challenge. From L-R: Mark McKinty, Catherine Weatherup, Louise Wilson, David Swann, Cathy Bones, and Arianne Matthews.
Larne band members taking part in the "12th to the Twelfth" 300k step challenge. From L-R: Mark McKinty, Catherine Weatherup, Louise Wilson, David Swann, Cathy Bones, and Arianne Matthews.

Band members in Larne have joined forces in an effort to raise money for a leading cancer charity in the run up to the Twelfth.

Participants are taking part in “12th to the Twelfth” - a challenge to clock up 300,000 steps ahead of the annual commemoration.

No strangers to walking long distances, the members taking part must record an average of 10,000 steps every day until the July 12 this year. Bands regularly contribute to good causes, and all money raised through this challenge will be donated to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Speaking after the first week of the challenge, organiser Mark McKinty, who launched the challenge, stated that those taking part were enjoying the challenge.

He said: “The first week was tough, particularly trying to schedule enough time in the day for walks.

“The members have been getting up earlier than usual, walking through lunch breaks, and parking that little bit further away from where they need to go to clock up steps whenever possible.

“The camaraderie - which is part of the fabric of banding - has been important in getting us through the first week. By the time the Twelfth of July parades are over, we will have reached almost two million steps.”

Local bands taking part include Ballyboley Pipe, Constable N. Anderson Memorial Flute, Magheramorne Silver, McMaster Memorial Accordion, and a lambeg drummer.

“We have a group who are fronting the challenge”, Mark continued, “but some other band members are taking part personally or with a lower target.

“We hope all band members and friends will support the important fundraising for the Children’s Hospice.”

“I want to thank Catherine Weatherup, Louise Wilson, David Swann, Cathy Bones, and Ariane Matthews for their willingness to get involved.

“We are having great fun, and hope to show another of the many positive aspects of being part of a band family.”