TWO new beneficiaries have been chosen for this year’s RG Falla Quarter Marathon.
The six mile run from Vazon to L’Eree and back again is now in its 14th year and has previously supported Save the Children, Help a Guernsey Child, Les Bourgs Hospice and the MS Society.
This year’s run on 22nd May will be in aid of Jonah Gillingham’s charity Helping Jonah Helping Others and Antony McMahon’s charity Friends Of Anthony Thomas – FOAT4MyLeg!
‘RG Falla celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and so we wanted to choose a new beneficiary for the quarter marathon. Our staff overwhelmingly voted for Jonah and Anthony and so it is very fitting that a company with a long local history is supporting two local youngsters,’ said RG Falla managing director Graham Brook.
‘The way the community has rallied around Jonah and Anthony has been fantastic and we hope they continue to show that support by taking part in the RG Falla Quarter Marathon and ensuring we can raise as much money as possible.’
The run is open to both individual runners and teams. Team entries need to include four or more runners and the team’s time will be calculated using the fastest four runners in each team. Prizes will be presented to the fastest male, female and team, the runner who raises the most money and all runners will be entered into a prize draw.
‘This year, we have launched a new RG Falla Quarter Marathon website which allows people to enter online. We’re hoping that by making it easier for people to enter that we can have a record turnout on the day,’ said Mr Brook.
Helping Jonah Help Others has raised £130,000 since the fundraising was launched in November. Jonah is currently receiving treatment for a rare blood disorder which costs £300,000 a year. His mother Sonia said the treatment had transformed the 17 year old’s life. ‘He is doing really well and is now full-time at the College of FE and doing everything that a teenager should be doing at his age. The doctors are really pleased with his progress and are hopeful that after a year, he might be able to stop treatment but they can’t make that decision yet which is why we need to continue fundraising.’
She said it had been hugely reassuring to receive the support of so many people and they intended to continue the charity should they get the news that Jonah no longer needs treatment.
‘It’s fantastic that everyone is doing all they can to help us. When we hear that companies like RG Falla want to help us, it’s really reassuring as it means it’s still out there and every amount raised, no matter how big or small, is going to the charity. If Jonah can come off, and remain off, the treatment, then he is determined to put back into the community what he has received and so the charity will continue and will help those who need our help, whether they are young or old,’
On the day of the RG Falla Quarter Marathon, 10-year-old Anthony will be recovering in America having undergone the first of two operations required to lengthen his leg. The youngster and his parents, Ian and Kerry, leave Guernsey on 4th April and he will have the operation on 12th April. Islanders have already raised the £85,000 needed for that operation and the £12,000 cost of physiotherapy but a further £26,500 is needed for the second.
‘I am numbed by the response of islanders supporting Anthony by putting their hands deeper and deeper into their pockets. It brings a lump in my throat and a tear to my eye when I hear about fundraising events like the RG Falla Quarter Marathon. How can I ever thank people for helping us?’ said Mr McMahon.
‘Anthony is nervous and excited at the same time. Nervousness has him silently thinking that his surgery might fail. We have countered that with encouragement as we are returning to the same surgeon who successfully reconstructed his right leg on 4th July 2008, which we call Anthony’s Independence Day.’
Teams need to pre-register before Wednesday 18th May 2016 and individuals can register in advance at http://www.rgfallaquartermarathon.gg or on the day at race headquarters in the car park of Crabby Jack’s. A Facebook page has also been set up at https://www.facebook.com/rgfallaquartermarathon/ where more information and updates will be regularly posted.