Irish Charity Challenge To Cross USA on Push Scooters

George Gannon here. I'm a film maker from Leitrim but based in Dublin. I'm the Irish part of an international group of an American & Brazilian who in June 2013, will cross the US from LA to NYC (3,282 miles/5,283km)  via numerous cities on a Y Fliker, push scooter. That's where we need your help.

The aim of this crazy project is to raise as much money for charity as possible. On the Irish side we will be fundraising for Barretstown Camp for Children with Cancer and other rare blood diseases. On the US side, we will be fundraising to donate PE equipment to schools to tackle obesity. The trip will take place over three months. Travelling the distance close to 2 marathons a day, it promises to be one of the most challenging experiences of our lives. Crossing deserts in Nevada and Utah, from the soaring Rockys to the busting metropolises of the 3 biggest cities in the US (NYC, Chicago, LA)  we want to share as much of this experience as possible with our audience on social media.

We have all the sponsors in place for the trip expenses etc but have to raise money for the web series to film the entire event. Thats where we're looking for as much support as possible with our Kickstarter campaign. Any help at all is appreciated and donations start from $1. Sharing, donation, telling us who to contact, everything counts and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your help. 

(Our Kickstarter video was filmed in Killiney, Phoenix Park and Mountjoy Square, Dublin, so check it out.)

Our aim is to film the entire event and ask our audiences to set us challenges as we pass through each city. As we complete challenges  people can donate whatever they want. Challenges can be anything from

- recreating their favorite movie scene as it's Paul Newman's Charity, we're getting a lot of movie scenes requests from his fantastic career.

- re enacting a music video in their city of choice e.g Fatboy Slim "Praise you."

- highlight issues and interesting subject matter as we pass through the different states e.g Gaelic classes in Nebreska

- interacting with members of the public.

If the challenges are PG, we will do it.

A bit about the charities, Barretstown Camp, set up by actor/philantropist Paul Newman in 1994, deals with children who are enduring or are on the path to recovery of Cancer and other rare blood diseases. Their families all stay in the camp free of charge and the aim of their programmes is to have children enjoy the most important and years of their lives. Their main programmes are through "Therapeutic recreational programmes and most importantly, FUN! They help children remember what it is to be children again and have changes the lives of thousands of sick children from all over Europe. 

On the US side, we will be raising money to tackle obesity in school. Money raised from the web series challenges and donations along the way will be used to fund PE equipment in schools and promote finesses programmes as we travel through the 13 different states. Along the way, we will be visiting school and initiating promgrammes and talks to help tackle this ever increasing problem. We aim to raise $500,000  for school PE equipment.

On a personal note, this is a hugely challenging and arduous journey but we feel that the end result is  worth ever ounce of blood, sweat and tears we will endure. In a time of austerity, negative equity and doom and gloom, these are 2 causes that not only change childrens lives, but  allow each of us to experience happiness in a time when it's needed most. We've all given up our jobs and are all 100% committed to fundraising as much money as possible. The trip will be taking place, but only with your support, will the web series  and challenge aspect be possible. So please visit our kickstarter page and donate whatever you feel is appropriate. $1 up is an inch closer to achieving our goal.

Visit for more info or catch me on here.

Thanks a million guys! Hope you can join us on this crazy adventure!

Views: 340

Tags: Dublin, Film, Killiney, Philanthropy, Today, United States

Comment by Gerry Regan on May 4, 2013 at 12:29pm

George, please keep us posted on the project's progress. What is the focus of your filmmaking, by the way? And how did you get drawn to the above project?

Comment by George Gannon on May 4, 2013 at 1:09pm


I grew up with storytelling from an early age where listening to a yearn or hearing of old and almost forgotten forgotten stories from our area was most dominant than TV. Alas, that all changed recently.

I studied Geography and classics in UCD. I focused on US Cultural studies in my final year. Here you study the cultural breakdown of US history, how it was shaped by immigrants and how history, politics and it's wave of immigrants shaped it into becoming the country it now is today. Obviously we looked alot at irish influences and how Irish populations founded and integrated into aspects of society etc. A major aspect was whether the US counld be defined by cultural areas or zones e.g What is the bread basket? Is the mid west an economic term or a "cultural reference" to a region that is defined by perspectives from other regions

This trip allows me to do two things, help people and film the enormous landscapes over 3286 miles. Focus on the intricacies, identities, composition and structure. The web series will primarily be used to fundraise for the 2 charities but in my spare time, i plan to film in each city, a unique and different aspect solely in existence in that place. This can be anything from people, to architecture to landscapes. Anything really!

Hence I was drawn to this the minute I was asked aboard. I was selected having studied film making in NYFA oxford and the london film academy.  The person organizing saw a short film i had shot on a mobile phone for nokia ( ) and contacted me. That's how I'm engulfed by it :P
Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on May 5, 2013 at 2:04am

Good stuff, George.  Thanks for sharing this with us, and welcome to The Wild Geese!

Comment by Bit Devine on May 6, 2013 at 10:57am

If ya get down in to the Southwest...You've a soft place to sleep here in Tucson, mo chara...

I will also extend a Ceade mile failte....


Comment by Gerry Regan on May 6, 2013 at 11:43am

Just made a modest donation, George. Hope you succeed and share some observations on the state of Irish America when you can, either en route or upon your return. Meanwhile, though, I suggest getting that Kickstarter link much higher in the post above -- 1st paragraph if possible, and highlight it. Also, can you embed the video link in the post, again at the top?

Comment by George Gannon on May 6, 2013 at 4:38pm

Thank you Gerry! All help appreciated!  Will edit now :P


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