Well over €2,000 was raised for the Laura Lynn’s Children’s Hospice on Friday night alone as a bumper crowd came out to celebrate local man Brendan Hoey’s 50th birthday in a big bash at Hamills in Ardee.
In a unique twist on the more conventional birthday party, Brendan forgoed gifts and cards on his milestone birthday – instead asking guests to kindly donate to the charity, and they did so in their droves. Brendan asked those in attending to also don their GAA colours at the party. He himself is a proud Meath man living behind enemy lines in Louth.
So far, Brendan has raised over €3,200 for Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice – and over €2,000 was collected at Friday’s party alone. The Laura Lynn charity was chosen in support of the help they gave young Jamie Halpenny, the local eight-year-old who lives with a rare condition known as spinal muscular atrophy.
“He used to be up and down to Laura Lynn. He’s too ill to go down now so a nurse comes up to him,” Brendan explains to ThisIsArdee.ie. Jamie’s condition is so rare, there were less than 30 children in Ireland with the condition upon his diagnosis at 14 months.
“It was my 50th birthday and I’m not into getting cards or presents,” Brendan continued, explaining the idea behind the fundraiser. “We’ve been trying to think here for the last number of years could we do some sort of fundraiser for Laura Lynn. We thought a while ago to do it for my 50th birthday. I told people that there was to be no presents or cards for me.
“We contacted Laura Lynn and we were up with them last week. They give us posters, banners and collection buckets and the whole lot.”
“At the minute, we have over €3,230. We collected about €2,300 on Friday night. Mark ‘Bogger’ Conlon gave me a cheque for €500, as a donation from him. We thought if we got €1,000 or €1,500 we’d be doing rightly. I couldn’t believe it,” he continues. He says there will probably be more donations to come too.
There was music on the night from The Nearly Made Its – featuring Paudie Bradley, Dermy Duffy, Shane Conlon, Sean O’Brien and Adrian Conlon – and Eamon Martin too, while Sean and Helen Malone kindly donated their time to run one of their famous BBQs for the partygoers.
“The place was packed to capacity. The Nearly Made-Its played and Eamon Martin did the disco and Sean and Helen Malone did the BBQ. It was a brilliant night. I never thought there was that many people in Ardee that liked me. Me being a Meath man living in Ardee!
“I was never as happy at the amount of people that came. There was people there that I wouldn’t even have expected. To get that kind of money on one night in a pub is amazing,” Brendan said.
“It was unbelievable what people were putting into the buckets. Peter Callaghan donated the burgers and sausages, O’Briens Stationery and Mark McLoughlin of CSM Print did posters, I got all the burger bundys off Centra and the hotdog bundys off Supervalu. The lads who played – they didn’t charge. Eamon was the same, Helen and Sean – and Peter Callaghan gave us his big BBQ to use. It didn’t cost us a penny to run.
“It was great,” Brendan concluded.
You can check out a full gallery of images from the night by our man with the camera Adrian Crawley on ThisIsArdee.ie by clicking here.