Machines motor for mental health in morning mission

A total of 53 machines – 51 tractors and two fire engines – revved through the pre-dawn hue to raise funds for suicide prevention last Saturday morning (March 16).

Organised by Meath Macra na Feirme, the tractor run, which had registration at 4:00am and a start time of 5:00am, had a “Darkness into Light” atmosphere to raise money for suicide prevention charity SOSAD (Save Our Sons and Daughters).

Building on a successful inaugural event last year, the organisers aimed to match or better the sum of €1,000 raised by the 36-tractor run held last March, in aid of Pieta House.

Match and better they certainly did, with a total of €2,011 raised at the event for SOSAD, according to Meath Macra PRO Aoife Scanlon.

The run kicked off at Trim GAA pitch, with the venue kindly provided for free by Trim GAA; tea was available at sign-in to keep participants warm, while food was provided for attendees following the run.

A raffle was also held on the day, with prizes including: overalls; a number of jackets, a socket set; a tool box; a rechargeable spot light; and a one-night stay for two in a local hotel.

Speaking to AgriLand, Scanlon said that in spite of the weather – having rained all night and morning – the event was fantastic.

“It was great to get that crowd; even though it was raining it didn’t stop the lot that came out.”

“It was an incredible success; we can only thank everyone that braved the weather to come out.”

Darkness into Light – with an agri twist

Scanlon explained that the concept for the run started out as a similar idea to Pieta House’s ‘Darkness into Light’ charity run, but with an agricultural twist.

“And after last weekend’s success, ideally we’d love to see this grow into a kind of ‘Darkness into Light’ night, whereby either Macra clubs or other organisations around the country would come on board and we might have two or three runs next year; same time, same place.

We don’t have a set charity but we’re hoping to do it again next year. We really are so grateful to everyone who came out.

“SOSAD don’t get any funding from the Government; they don’t get any grants or anything like this and they do incredible work for suicide prevention and support,” Scanlon said.