If you were anywhere near the Big White Bay beach at Shroove on Friday night, you could have seen a lot more than expected.
That’s because 300 brave women were taking part in a topless dip!
The daring fundraiser created a great buzz in Inishowen this month as women united for a liberating challenge for three important causes. Proceeds from the half strip and dip will go towards Breast Cancer Centre in Letterkenny, Cancer Care West and the Breast Cancer Ireland Schools Outreach Programme.
No rain warning could stop the volunteers running into the sea together. The entire event was one big pink party, with many women getting into the spirit by dressing up, getting their friends together and celebrating womanhood.
It was the ‘breast’ fun, with women aged from 18 to 70 travelling from all over Donegal and as far as Boston, Scotland and Dublin to take the plunge.
Katrina Doherty, who organised the event along with Mary McLaughlin, said the night was far beyond anyone’s expectations.
“We had 10 busloads taking women out to the beach. The atmosphere was electric and not one person was nervous, they just flung their stuff off.
“Maybe the rain helped that. People ran into the water, some people went in twice and some wouldn’t come out again! Some people took their bottom halves off when they were in the water and were swinging them in the air!” Katrina said.
The location of the dip was kept closely under wraps to protect the privacy of the volunteers. Buses were parked carefully to cordon off the beach and only females were allowed near the site. The four female members of the Greencastle Coast Guard also came out to keep an eye on everyone.
The party didn’t end after the dip was done! Everyone gathered at the Castle Inn in Greencastle for a buffet and a raffle with prizes kindly donated by local businesses. Of course, there was a breast-shaped cake for the occasion. Then the women moved on to Rosato’s in Moville!
“We had playlist of great uplifting songs planned for before the dip, the beach and after. We played them all into the wee small hours,” Katrina said.
The after-party featured another surprise half-strip – from Katrina’s husband Sean!
Sean was sponsored by friends and family to join the stripping sensation that gripped Inishowen last week – he raised a fantastic €1,200 and impressed the crowds at Rosato’s with his half-strip, complete with a pink bra.
Amidst all the fun, the event brought hundreds of women together in solidarity with those who have fought breast cancer and it shared an important message to women to ‘check your tatas’.
“We’d like to thank all the businesses who got behind us and everyone who supported it and did the dip on the night. The community really got behind us and people are still giving us money, saying that we should be proud of what we have achieved,” Katrina said.
The total amount raised is expected to be counted next month, so stay tuned for the grand announcement. If you’d like to support the fundraiser you can also donate online here: https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8h0v8T4w9a?fbclid=IwAR1JCQ-qpix6lJPep88fC_dNQrPTbF5UgVBq3BtE5ebQEebWvE99JpCwMdw
Special thanks to Nicola Kelly for capturing the event in pictures, visit her page here: www.facebook.com/nicolakellyphotography