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Pals reach the end of charity ride
FOUR fundraisers have gone from the clammy jungles of the Amazon and the dizzy heights of Machu Picchu to the comparatively flat terrain of Broome Manor Golf Course in Swindon.
The friends, keen to help cancer charities, have continued to raise money after returning to the UK following an intrepid 200-mile ride over the Andes.
Around 60 people turned-up at the Old Town golf complex to support Swindon pals Chris Kyle, Kris Maskalaniec, Phil Niewiadomski and Mark Wright.
They took part in a day-long golf extravaganza to help the friends – all former students at St Joseph’s School – assist local cancer organisations.
Their efforts boosted the quartet’s cancer fund kitty by £1,700 – taking it to around £17,000.
Kris, 34, a mechanical estimator of Old Walcot, said: “We were delighted with the turn-out. We weren’t sure how many people would actually show on the day. But 60 is a very credible turn-out.”
Kris admitted negotiating the manicured greens of the 18-hole course off Piper’s Way wasn’t quite as exerting or hair-raising as cycling along muddy trails a few feet from heart-stopping drops into the craggy valleys of the Andes.
But he said: “It was a great way to finish off our cycle ride in the Peruvian Andes. It has been a long journey and this was a grand finale.”
After-golf activities at the clubhouse saw a flying experience in a private aeroplane and clay pigeon shooting lessons auctioned off, among other prizes.
Kris said the day was such a success it will become an annual event. He organised it to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support in recognition of the work it does for people afflicted by the disease and their families.
His uncle Karol Piethota, of Old Walcot died several months ago from cancer.
Earlier this year, Kris was approached by Chris, who wanted to raise £5,000 for Breast Cancer Care.
Chris, of Old Town, was keen to do something for the charity that had helped his mother Maria Walsh battle the disease. Having overcome breast cancer Mrs Walsh is now fighting leukemia.
He had heard about a five-day 315 km cycle ride from Machu Picchu to the Amazon jungle and asked his friends along with him Mark, of Liden, rode in memory of his parents Graham and Nora Wright. He also set out to raise cash for MacMillan “because of the fantastic work they did for my father”.
Phil, of Rodbourne, joined his friends to raise funds for Swindon’s Prospect Hospice in memory of his friend John Pungitore, an active member of Swindon’s Italian community who died of cancer in 2008.
lAnyone wishing to donate to their charities should go to: http://www.justgiving. com/PhilN-BikeChallenge www.just giving.com/chris-kyle http://www.just giving.com/mark machupicchu www.just giving.com/Krzystof-Maskalaniec
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