Ballintubber native Kathleen Conway is a woman who wears many hats.
She was a pupil at Errew National School followed by St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Castlebar. She then went on to study commerce in NUIG where she subsequently completed a masters in NUIG in accounting.
Since graduating she has worked full time in this area with PwC.
Since March 2020, like many others, she has been working from home and has found herself with time to spare for her other main passion in life – food blogging.
Kathleen is the author of a very popular blog ‘Food Nation’ on several social media platforms. Between Instagram and Facebook she has well over 7,000 followers combined.
She told me how this blog came to be: “I used to eat out a lot with my boyfriend – back in the good old days, when eating out was a thing!
“We were having lunch in a local cafe one day and I, as usual, was admiring the food and taking some photographs for my own enjoyment. He jokingly said I should set up an Instagram page and post all the food we eat…and as the saying goes – the rest is history!”
Kathleen has now found a way to combine all of her passions and skills and has come up with a fantastic fundraising initiative to support this year’s Mayo Pink Ribbon 300k Your Way fundraiser for breast cancer research.
Kathleen has signed up to the event and is currently cycling the entire 300km of the Mayo Pink Ribbon event and has additionally set up an i-Donate page to fundraise.
She told me that she has been involved in collecting for Pink Ribbon over the years.
“Like most families in Ireland, my own family has been impacted by cancer. I see the wonderful work that charities like Mayo Pink Ribbon and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute do, and it is really important to me to be able to support them where I can.
“I am in a fortunate position of being able to connect with people via my social media platforms and so I put on my thinking hat and have come up with a really exciting bumper competition that I am very hopeful will be a great fundraiser for Mayo Pink Ribbon.”
€1,500 worth of prizes up for grabs
Just this week Kathleen launched the competition on her Food Nation page on Facebook and Instagram. There is a fantastic array of top quality prizes on offer.
These prizes have been very generously donated by businesses all over the west of Ireland and Kathleen is extremely thankful to each and every one.
Prizes so far include one year’s membership to Breaffy Resort gym and leisure centre, €100 hamper from Redz hair salon, €50 McHugh’s voucher, €50 Dining Room voucher, BBQ chafing unit from Oliver Kelleher’s, €60 hamper from Achill Island Sea Salt, €30 Swirl @Gavin’s voucher, Bobby By Roberta Harrington hamper, Bosca Rua from Cafe Rua, Taste of Italy wine pairing from Bar One, €50 MayoEats voucher, One Cookie Brownie Box and One Brownie Box from Emma’s Cakes & Bakes, €50 voucher from Rabbette’s Furniture, €50 House of Plates voucher, Cupcake Factory Westport vouchers and also a €50 voucher for an Occasion Cake, hamper from Megan Walsh Beauty, €40 voucher from The Movement Gym, €30 Hamper from Belleek Castle, €50 hamper from Bean West Coffee, 12 cupcakes from Box of Bakes, €50 hamper from Marlene’s Chocolate Haven, and €90 bracelet from Murtagh’s Jewellers, Westport. That’s over €1,500 worth of prizes so far with lots more to be confirmed!
Kathleen complimented all the businesses on their outstanding generosity and said she was absolutely blown away by the amazing response to her idea.
The competition runs from until the first winners are drawn on the May bank holiday weekend, which is when the Pink Ribbon cycle would normally be held.
The prizes will be given away over five days and there is guaranteed to be great excitement.
Kathleen is hoping to raise at least €1,500 for Mayo Pink Ribbon.
Lourda McHugh, founder of Mayo Pink Ribbon, said of Kathleen’s efforts: “We are thrilled to hear of Kathleen’s brilliant idea and really appreciate the efforts she is making to fundraise for us.
“Every euro raised by Kathleen will go directly to funding research at the National Breast Cancer Research Institute.
“One in nine women in Ireland will get breast cancer in their lifetime and the ground-breaking work being done in research, particularly in the areas of early diagnosis and specifically tailored treatment plans, means we can now aspire to a future where a breast cancer diagnosis is no longer so frightening.”
Lourda also encouraged more people to sign up for the event.
She explained that 300k Your Way will remain open for the next couple of months so participants needn’t be daunted by the distance.
If they start today they still have lots of time to complete the challenge at their own pace.