Rolo’s 5km runs for Skibbereen’s animal rescue centre is a huge funding success

June 3rd, 2020 10:05 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Schull fundraiser Rolo Lynch with Silke the cat, just one of the many animals that he cares about.

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A NINE-year-old boy from Schull has been invited to an animal sanctuary in the US after an associate heard about his efforts to raise funds for a cash-strapped rescue centre in Skibbereen.

On Monday, May 25th, Rolo Lynch finished his tenth and final 5km run to raise money for the Skibbereen Rescue Centre, which is run by Anita Douglas.

Last week, The Southern Star reported how Anita was using her pension – and a loan – to feed her 111 animals, following the Covid-19 closure of her charity shop at North Street.

Within hours of his first run on Saturday, May 16th, Rolo had already achieved his initial €200 target.

‘It was mostly family and friends that helped Rolo achieve that,’ said his mum, Mary-Louise. They were, however, amazed to find that the fundraising drive spread to the wider community before going Stateside.

A friend of the Animal Rescue Foundation, which was founded by Tony La Russa, a former major league baseball star, spotted the GoFundMe page and Rolo’s opening remarks: ‘I really love animals and when I grow up I want to be a vet or a professional basketball player.’

After making a donation, the woman wrote to Rolo and issued the invitation. She also informed him that Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation is an award-winning institution that has as its mission statement: “People Rescuing Animals … Animals Rescuing People.”

The boy’s empathy for animals is clear. Since the lockdown started, he has been thinking of all the animals that will need to be rescued if their owners get sick or can’t afford to take care of them anymore.

He said he decided to raise money so that more animals will be able to ‘live in peace with plenty of food.’

Rolo is currently bonded to the family’s five-year-old chocolate brown labrador, Moses – who had a metal plate and pins put in his leg when he was a puppy – and the cat Silke, who is currently nursing five new-born kittens in Rolo’s bedroom.

Over nine of the 10 days of the fundraiser, Rolo ran in rain, fog and even gale force winds last Friday, May 22nd, to raise money for the rescued animals at Anita’s.

Every day – up until the last – Rolo ran out the front door, east up to the entrance of Mount Gabriel, and then back to the family home at Gloun.

On his final day, his dad brought him to Colla Road in Schull, where they did the final run together, and Rolo’s reward was an Oreo milkshake at Brosnan’s.

Given the increased interest in the  ‘Rolo’s Run for Skibbereen Animal Rescue’, the GoFundMe campaign has been extended so there is still time to make a donation.

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