A group of farmers have joined forces to support the family of 41-year-old Johnny McCowen, who was diagnosed with rare and aggressive Motor Neurone Disease in September 2021.
The Laois man has been living in Australia since 2009 and has been married to Sherie since 2018.
The father-of-two has said his family’s world has “crumbled” following his incurable diagnosis, but he has vowed to fulfil a final wish, to secure a home for his wife and two daughters, Darcy and Riley.
The devoted father has already raised a staggering sum of money through a GoFundMe page, which has exceeded $500,000.
On his native soil in Ireland, a group of farmers engaging in various enterprises have formed Farmers Fight for Johnny’s Girls to raise €25,000.
Group members include:
- Conor Mitchell – a secondary teacher who farms a pedigree and commercial sucklers;
- Keith Bracken – a secondary teacher who farms pedigree and commercial sucklers;
- Padraig O’Dwyer – full-time suckler farmer;
- Francis Finn – part-time tillage farmer;
- Micheal Finlay – dairy farmer/ owner of Moo Cow Fresh Milk;
- Cathal Bannon – dairy farmer and pedigree Aubrac breeder;
- John Behan- from a farming childhood and handles the group’s online platforms.
Farmers Fight for Johnny’s Girls
A spokesperson told That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane:
“We decided that we would aim to organise a raffle that would try to encompass a demographic that otherwise may not have been brought into the fold for fundraising.”
“It was with that in mind that we went out and bought Peppa – named by Johnny’s girls – at the Irish Suckler Society’s recent sale in Roscrea.”
“The Belgian Blue-cross-Limousin heifer was bred by Ryans of Clonaslee, who work under the Cappanarrow herd prefix, breeding Belgian Blue and Limousin cattle.”
“A cash alternative is available to those without a herd number. We hope to sell 1,000 tickets and, in the process, raise €25,000. There is no limit on tickets, so if we sell more, we will keep going.”
Other prizes include vouchers for Glanbia, Quinns, Solas Eco Garden Shop, a water trough from Midlands Vet Portarlington and a trailer of firewood.
All funds will go directly to the Fight for Johnny’s Girls main fundraiser. People can buy tickets – which are €25 – directly on the iDonate raffle page via this link.
Alternatively, contact any member of the organising committee:
- Cathal – 0857789494;
- Conor – 0861639153;
- Keith – 0857516595;
- Padraig – 0879347525;
- Francis – 0872337874.
The raffle will take place in Solas Eco Garden Shop in Portarlington on September 10th, 2022.