A quacker of a fundraiser

Henry Davidson and Allora’s Matthew Kanowski take a break in the recent Clongowes Wood College annual charity duck push from Dublin to Limerick, in Ireland.
Henry Davidson and Allora’s Matthew Kanowski take a break in the recent Clongowes Wood College annual charity duck push from Dublin to Limerick, in Ireland. Contributed

ALLORA was inundated with ducks a week or so back, the Ernie Young Pavilion at the Allora Showgrounds spilling over with classy pedigreed quackers of all shapes, sizes and colours ... mallards, khaki campbell's, indian runners, cayugas along with countless others.

But give a little thought to coaxing one of our quacking feathered friends to trek halfway across a nation.

Well it happened on the Emerald Isle very recently, with an Allora resident among those in the support entourage as a duck led the way in a major charity event.

While he is an Allora local, 18-year-old Matthew Kanowski is also currently considered a local around the Clane area in Ireland after involvement in an annual charity event that raised €75,000 (just over $90,000).

Matthew, the son of Shaun and Leanne Kanowski of Mt Marshall, is spending a gap year at Clongowes Wood College, a voluntary secondary boarding school for boys, located near Clane in County Kildare, Ireland.

While a year in Ireland, especially at a school that can boast a 13th century medieval castle is an amazing experience, Matthew explained part of that experience has been an annual Clongowes College charity initiative known as the Duck Push.

"Basically there is a large model duck bolted onto a manoeuvrable trolley and the school students, along with gap students, push this duck in groups, two pushing and two steering," he said.

In an amazing effort over a two-week period the duck is pushed from Dublin to Limerick, a distance of 174km, about halfway across Ireland.

"The students, from 10th grade volunteer their time along with the staff members for the event which has been run annually for the past 20 years," Matthew said.

Matthew's role mostly involved driving a van as an escort behind the groups pushing the duck.

"I will always remember the satisfaction of receiving the praise of the local Irish community and raising money for such an important charity," he said.

The beneficiary is Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin in Dublin.

The €75,000 raised will enable the purchase of an important specific state-of-the-art piece of equipment for the hospital.

"It was an awesome experience and a definite highlight to the year thus far," Matthew said.

Topics:  fundraiser warwick

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