Marriage stones in Cape Clear, Ireland, erected 5,000 years ago. Photo supplied

Marriage stones in Cape Clear, Ireland, erected 5,000 years ago. Photo supplied

Comox Valley walkers raising money to bring Syrian family to Ireland

A Comox woman has initiated a sponsored event to help a group of walkers in Ireland who are raising money to bring a Syrian family to their tiny island.

Suzy Venuta made the connection in 2018 when she visited Cape Clear, located at the southernmost part of Ireland. Her friend Mary O’Driscoll asked Venuta if she and her hiking buddies would be interested in helping the virtual 5,000 Kilometres to Damascus fundraising challenge, being undertaken by Cape Clear residents.

The Cléire Community Sponsorship group needs to raise 10,000 euros (about $14,843 Canadian) to sponsor a family from Syria. They’ve so far raised about € 6,000.

Having surpassed the 5,000 km mark — the distance from Syria to Cape Clear — the Irish walkers have upped the challenge to hoof it a further 5,000 kms.

“Because of the amazing support, we are now on our journey back to Cape Clear, and we aim to be here for Easter Sunday,” O’Driscoll said by email.

Venuta formed a team, which O’Driscoll named the Canadian Capers, in reference to someone who has lived on the Cape and left. The Capers team consists of walkers in the Comox Valley, Alberta and Ontario, and one in Ireland. Members send weekly walking/running distances, which Venuta forwards to Ireland. To date, the Canadian Capers have raised 135 of a 500-euro target.

“While we don’t have any control over the pandemic, we can still help someone 7,000 kilometres away, and help a family start a new lease on life,” Venuta said.

Cape Clear became the first Irish island to be accepted as a destination for approved refugees under a United Nations program that gives permission to sponsor a family from war-torn Syria or Lebanon. Last year, O’Driscoll got the ball rolling by applying to the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP), established in 2015 as part of Ireland’s response to the migration crisis in central and southern Europe.

O’Driscoll hopes the family will arrive by September — but first they need to raise the € 10,000.

Venuta invites people to join The Canadian Capers, and send their weekly walking/running distance.

“We are all still connected, and it is by connection that we can help others,” she said.

Join the cause at Tax receipts will be issued for those who wish to donate.

For more information about the virtual walk in Ireland, visit or find the Cléire Community Sponsorship Group on Facebook.

Just Posted

ROAM Media’s Ian Adams designed the label for the new honey ale. Image supplied
Church St., Ace combine on a true Comox Valley brew

The taphouse has Home Buoy on tap, and it’s also in cans

The finish line! Huband held a ‘Colour Run’ Friday to celebrate what’s been a different school year. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley school lets its colours run

Huband Elementary wanted a way to bring kids together

Cumberland has agreed to a sponsorship agreement with the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland agrees to sponsorship with Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce

Some on council did express concerns from the past such as amalgamation push

Habitat VIN executive director Pat McKenna, and community engagement manager (Comox Valley) Alli Epp are all geared up for the 2021 Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North #BidtoBuild online auction. Photo supplied
Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North online auction opens soon

Get ready to ‘bid to build.’ The 2021 Habitat For Humanity Vancouver… Continue reading

Ronan and his son, eight-year-old Erwan Teyssier ran The Cumby together this year. Photo supplied
Cumby Trail Race raises $15,000+ for Cumberland forest protection

The theme of The Cumby 2021 trail race was ‘Celebrating This Land’… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read