Enea staff pull in record haul for mental health charity

It wasn’t quite planes, trains and automobiles – but it was bikes, hikes, swims and runs! The last week of September 2020 culminated with the annual Enea Openwave charity fundraiser – and it’s been a year like no other! With 25 people, and a “Mix & Match” of events stretching across three continents, Enea Openwavers from all over the world have been fundraising in their own countries for this year’s charity – and so far have raised almost UK £12,000 (over US $15,000)!

Charity Team 2020

Go Team Enea Openwave!!

Individuals had the choice of taking part in indoor or outdoor activities to help PIPS: Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide and Self-Harm, a charity based in Northern Ireland. PIPS provides vital support for individuals who may be on the brink of suicide or self-harm. They also deliver much-needed support to families whose lives have been impacted by the suicide of a loved one.

Team Leader Fergus Wills commented: “This year’s charity has a special place in our hearts. It was chosen by a member of the Enea Openwave team whose family suffered the loss of a child to suicide earlier this year. This is the least we can do to support the family and all the others affected by mental health issues, especially during the current global pandemic”.

7 Enea Openwavers took to the saddle to complete a gruelling 60k
(with Richard McLaughlin stretching it to 100 km…because he can!)

The main event of this year’s fundraiser took place in Belfast on September 25th with a 60 km bike ride and simultaneously, a 13 km half-marathon climb!!

As one team got into the saddle, a second team strapped on their walking boots and set out to climb Cave Hill, a high basaltic hill with stunning views overlooking Belfast. Like all good engineers – they were quick to think on their feet when the high-winds grew strong – but they braved the conditions and made it up and back again safely.

That would have been sufficient – but not for this year when every penny counts for cash-strapped charities. Julie Ferry and Fergus Wills, the organizers, took advantage of the “virtual working” that has brought all of us together online, and made the world an even smaller place. So Enea Openwavers in every corner of the world were able to take part in their own event, in their home town. And they embraced the opportunity to do their bit.

Martina from PIPS accepting a cheque for part of the amount raised

Our staff member who suffered the loss of their child (and took part in the fund-raising) said “thank you so much to the team for supporting this event and providing a wonderful and lasting tribute for our family, and especially to our child”.

In summarising this year’s record event John Giere, President, said “The team’s can-do / will-do attitude never fails to astonish me. Year after year we demonstrate our company and community values by living them out in ways that matter and this year’s efforts have been especially poignant. Well done everyone! And a HUGE thank you to all who supported this year’s fundraiser!”

Carry on reading to see some of the individual efforts

First off the mark was Abhishek in India, who with friends completed a 35 km trek over one week.

John Giere ready to complete a remarkable 25 of his 60 miles
on the way to the Redwood City office sporting a vintage
“Openwave Mobility” bike jersey!

Arthur Marshall –
Sea Swimming approx 7km in a very busy week!

Chris Goswami on the Tolkien Trail as part of his epic
10km + 35km “bike-hike” in North West England

Dean Crook contributing an impressive
30-mile bike ride from the US!

And – on the US west coast, Kishor Panpaliya
completed a superb 15km run – and is still smiling!
(we think, or is that gritted teeth?!)

Meanwhile – for one person Cave Hill wasn’t quite challenging enough.  Kevin Quinn did a solo hike of the highest peak in Northern Ireland – Slieve Donard (which is even harder to climb than it is to pronounce!) – ending up at the peak in almost zero visibility. Well done Kevin!

But perhaps this year’s Herculean effort has to go to Mahendra Mande.  Mahendra challenged himself to complete a whopping 100 km a day as part of his larger goal of achieving 600 km in two weeks!  WOW! GO MAHENDRA! And GO ENEA OPENWAVERS!

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