The people of Ardara came together last weekend - in a touching display of community spirit - to raise much needed funds for one of their own.
A Community Support Day was held last Saturday in aid of local girl, Martina Maguire (16) who was diagnosed recently with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and all of the funds raised on the day will go towards her treatment and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.
Martina’s brother Michael - one of the organisers of the event – explained their motivation for throwing the day of entertainment.
“Martina is going through a hard time at the moment and she is just trying to concentrate on getting better. She is really touched with the level of support she is receiving. We’ll worry about organising these things so she can just focus on her health
“It is great that people are able to come and enjoy themselves for a good cause.”
Indeed, the day was a sizzling mix of entertainment with football tournaments, zorbing, bouncy castles, a charity cycle, a dance extravaganza and much, much more.
The brave youngster was a 5th year student at St. Columba’s Comprehensive School before she fell ill and even received the best Junior Cert results in her year but the talented teenager now has to travel to Dublin regularly for treatment.
“Ardara is one of the best wee towns in the county, it’s a special place and its people are always great at coming together and supporting their own..” Michael added.
This is not the first charity endeavour that Michael has done to support his sister.
“I ran the National Lottery, Dublin Marathon there recently and she was delighted that I was doing that for her but we just want her to focus on getting better.”
The day kicked off with a cake sale in the Heritage Centre a and a number of intrepid cyclists took part in a G.A.P. 30k Charity Cycle later.
The Pearce Memorial Park G.A.A Grounds will be a hub of activity with a football tournament featuring many familiar faces from the surrounding areas.
The festivities carried on well into the night with a Fundraising Dance in the Nesbitt Arms Hotel from 10pm-2am with music by Turbulent Eddie and The Dee Tees. There was also be a trophy presentation, raffle and auction with an array of fabulous prizes including premiership signed jerseys.
No doubt the strength of the community spirit in Ardara will give great encouragement to Marina in her battle with her illness.