Silage event draws in over €14,000 for Alzheimer Society

A community silage weekend in Mount Melleray, Co. Waterford, last August that had a silage event for 40 women as its centrepiece, raised over €14,000 for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

The weekend – and the ‘Grass Gals’ all-female silage crew in particular – caught people’s imagination, and attracted an enthusiastic response. The ‘Grass Gals’ harvested 30ac of silage at the record-setting event.

One woman even travelled from the UK to participate. Dawn Cracknell found out about the fundraiser through Facebook, and took part to show her support for women farmers and drivers, and for the Alzheimer Society.

A Garda and a doctor, and a nun were also among the eclectic line-up.

The all-female crew mowed the fields on the occasion. As the afternoon set in, the women fired up two self-propelled forage harvesters – which were sponsored by Timmy McCarthy, Carrigtoohill and O’Grady Bros, Toorneena – accompanied by an army of tractors and trailers. The vintage men were also in action in their fields.

There was just one loader on the pit – a Venieri 18.63B – also sponsored by McCarthy’s. It was kept busy – piloted by a female operator – as the tractor/trailer combinations queued up to tip their loads.

The ‘Grass Gals’ were joined on the day by the Socket Rockettes, a team of women that can rebuild a Massey 20 tractor in 12 minutes. They broke their own record on the day.

The spectacle which attracted 3,500 visitors also featured a truck show, vintage car display along with vintage machinery, donkey derby, mini animal farm and a barn dance with music from Pat Daly.

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The launch of a DVD capturing the occasion, and a calendar, took place in Lismore Golf Club recently.

Among those present were: most of the ‘Grass Gals’; Waterford Mayor, Pat Nugent; deputies Mary Butler and Mattie McGrath; Paul Hallahan, IVETA; Catherine Bartels, representing the Alzheimer Society of Ireland; and the manager of The Socket Rockettes, Jerry O’Sullivan.

An auction and a raffle took place, with Jerry O’Sullivan as auctioneer. Pat Daly kept the attendance on the floor with some lively dancing music.

The DVD is on sale at €20.00 and calendars at €10.00. Proceeds from the sales will also go to the Alzheimer Society. For details, contact John on: 087-2542596 or any committee member.

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