A group of Arranmore Island mothers are organising a fundraiser to benefit four Donegal charities with links to the island and island children.
The event will be held Feb. 18th at Early’s Bar, starting at 9pm. There will be a buffet and music by Green Island, aka Paddy, Connie and Peter, along with Jerry Early, Hugh Nancy Rodgers and "anyone else who would like to give us a song or two", followed by a disco with DJ John Bosco, organisers said.
“It’s nice to just give back,” said Elaine Boyle, who is organising the event with Sally Brady, Margery O'Donnell, Elaine Sailor, Bernie Green, Anne Sweeney, Florence Calais and Brianne Brady.
The charities include Autism Support Dungloe (ASD); the Donegal branch of Down Syndrome Ireland DSI); Beaumont Hospital Foundation (cochlear implant); and Katie Rose Foundation.
“People have been so generous,” Elaine said. Thanks to sponsors' generosity, prizes on the night include a pamper hamper, vouchers, cash prizes and more.
They hope to run the event each year for different charities and have been asked why they did not pick just one.
“You can't pick a favourite child,” Elaine said. “Each one is as important as the next, so we went with the four.”
The Katie Rose Foundation has its roots on the island. Fiona and Sean Rodgers of Arranmore began the foundation in memory of their daughter Katie Rose, who passed away in 2014 at age 2 from mitochondrial disease. The foundation works to raise awareness of the rare genetic condition and raise money for research into its treatment and cure.
“We are so thankful and so grateful to the community of Arranmore,” Fiona said. “They are just a massive, massive support, both personally and to the endeavours of the foundation.”
ASD supports children with autism and hosts outings, events and activities; Donegal DSI offers classes and activities for people with Down Syndrome.
Ruby Reynolds, who will be 4 in July, was born deaf, but now can hear because of cochlear implants she received at Beaumont.
Elaine said they hope to inspire larger communities to hold similar events. “We're such a small community, but if we can organise something like this, it may give people a wee kick.”
See the Arranmore Charity Fundraiser Facebook page for more.