To mark the start of Haiti Week 2012, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D. today launched the third annual Cycle4haiti charity cycle, which aims to raise a record €400,000 for The Soul of Haiti Foundation. Cycling enthusiasts and novices alike are invited to register at www.cycle4haiti.com to take part in a bid to triple last year’s fundraising target.

The cycle will take place over the May bank holiday weekend and this year starts on Saturday 4th May from three locations in Dublin, Sligo and Tipperary and converging in Athlone for an overnight rest. The following day, Sunday 5th May, the peloton will spin a further 85kms to the finish line inEyre Square,Galway.

Over 500 cyclists are expected to take to the streets for the 2012 event and they will be joined by leading Irish business figures such as Donal Connell, CEO, An Post, Michael Dawson, One4all CEO and co-founder of the Soul of Haiti Foundation, Michael Carey, chairman, Bord Bia, Leslie Buckley, co-founder of Haven and David Walsh, managing director of Netwatch, along with teams from O2, Ernst and Young and many more businesses nationwide.  A number of familiar faces such as TV3 presenter Aidan Cooney and Munster and Ireland rugby legend Mick Galwey have also committed to the 2012 cycle.

Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. said, “As a cycling enthusiast myself, I am delighted to launch this year’s Cycle4haiti and to mark the start of Haiti Week 2012. It is wonderful to see so many of Ireland’s business leaders and sportspersons coming together to raise funds for such a worthy cause.”

The €125,000 raised by Cycle4haiti in 2011 went directly to support the development of Soul of Haiti Foundation projects by providing staff, a new kitchen, a playground, running water and proper toilet facilities for an orphanage in the fishing village of Îleà Vache.

Michael Dawson, One4all CEO and co-founder of the Soul of Haiti Foundation said, “The level of support for Cycle4haiti has been phenomenal to date. This year, we want to raise the bar and even exceed our expectations. The cycle is a small challenge that can help make a big difference to the lives of people in Haiti and people of all levels can take part.”   

The goal of Cycle4haiti is to raise money for the Soul of Haiti Foundation and donations can be made directly to the cause by visiting www.cycle4haiti.com, by searching for “Cycle4Haiti” on www.mycharity.ie or by making a donation at any of the fundraising events in the lead up to this year’s cycle.