THE JOEY DUNLOP FOUNDATION
Even those motorcyclists who are not that interested in racing acknowledge and admire Joey Dunlop for his courage and achievements in the sport of road racing.
As well as being a very, very fast rider he was gifted with a humble and generous personality and character. It's not widely known that, when he wasn't racing, a good proportion of his time was taken up with humanitarian causes. At intervals, he would load a truck with much-needed supplies for Romanian orphanages and drive there to help with the distribution.
Typically of the man, he never sought recognition for this, but was eventually awarded a CBE for his international charity work.
The Joey Dunlop Foundation (established in 2001) was set up to raise funds so that disabled people could visit the Isle of Man and enjoy the island's landscape and the TT and Manx Grand Prix races in the same way as the able-bodied are able to do. In 2008, they acquired Braddan Bridge House - right on the course - and converted it with superb facilities for disabled living. From the house, spectators can watch riders come down a fast straight, brake hard and slow down for the Braddan Bridge corner.
The money to support this work is raised year round through donations, merchandise and regular raffles. The Foundation's supporters and their marquee are often at shows and race meetings, engaged in the perennial fundraising work.
Now the Foundation wants to expand Braddan Bridge House so that 20 residents can be accommodated – present capacity is 12. Demand for space is always, unsurprisingly, high in June, July and August. So a new prize draw has been launched with the first prize being a Honda CBR600, decked out in Joey's Bar colours of black and yellow – Joey's Bar is situated in Ballymoney, County Antrim, and is a 'pilgrimage' venue for motorcyclists worldwide. There's a second prize of a Padgett's paddock scooter and a third prize, a JDF mini-moto.
Tickets, at just £1 each, will be on sale throughout 2016 at major Irish road races such as the NW200 and Ulster Grand Prix. Look out for the Foundation marquee at shows or purchase online at www.joeydunlopfoundation.com.
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