Having previously cycled the length of Britain with a Lambeg drum, Orangemen from Banbridge are poised to take their charity exploits to a whole new level.
Next month, members of Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 423 will participate in their most extreme challenge to date – climbing four peaks across four regions of the UK in four days.
Walking in aid of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, the Co Down brethren aim to ascend Slieve Donard, Snowdon (Wales), Scaffell Pike (England) and Ben Nevis (Scotland). As well as completing the gruelling task in the space of 96 hours, they also will be carrying a Lambeg drum – again – to the summit of each mountain.
Almost £30,000 has already been raised for the children’s charity through a series of street collections across the Province and at Linfield matches – however, the lodge is keen to maximise their fundraising endeavours.
LOL 423 has a distinguished track record for charitable outreach, having previously raised £120,000 for Help for Heroes by carrying a Lambeg on the Williamite trail from Carrickfergus to the Boyne. This preceded the mammoth cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End. In separate ventures, £7,500 and £2,200 have been raised for the Cancer Fund for Children and orphans in Ghana respectively.
On their latest trek, the Banbridge brethren will be accompanied by Scottish peers from Sons of Conquerors LOL 162 in Glasgow.
Speaking ahead of the fundraiser, Banbridge worshipful master David Miniss said: “This is undoubtedly the most physically demanding challenge we have done to date. The cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End we completed in relays – however, this time round all participants have to climb all four mountains.
“We are delighted to be raising money for such an important charity as the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. We have seen first-hand the incredible work they do and support they provide to young people and their families in their time of need.”
He added: “As a lodge we have raised in excess of £120,000 over the past decade for various charities and aim to amass over £30,000 for this worthy cause.”
Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Harold Henning, personally offered his best wishes to lodge members.
“The brethren of LOL 423 are to be commended for their latest fundraising initiative.
“The scale of the challenge is immense – however, the entire Institution will be willing them on to complete the task which they have set themselves. We wish them, and their Scottish counterparts, every success in their pursuit which will ultimately be to the benefit of sick young children.”
To make a donation to the Drumming for Heroes challenge, taking place from 24 to 27 May, text LDFH73 plus the amount to 70070.