WHILE Gaza was being rocked by Israeli shelling the battered enclave was rocking to the sounds of music in Buncrana. The ‘Plaza for Gaza’ fundraiser, organised by John Cutliffe and a group of his friends in the town, was a resounding success.
Set up to fund badly-needed medical and other resources for innocent children caught up in the conflict, the cause touched the hearts of local people.
“We’re absolutely astounded by the generosity and kindness of the community here,” a spokesperson said, “not just in Buncrana but throughout Inishowen and beyond.
We were hoping to cover our costs and raise a few Euro but at this stage we’ve raised over €8,500…and donations are still coming in, even though the concert is over! ”
All proceeds from the charity are going straight to St Joseph’s Hospital in Jerusalem where many of the children injured in the conflict are being treated. Many people were moved to help after seeing the touching photos of bloodied and bandaged children posted on social media by John Cutliffe, who volunteered to help in the hospital.
The concert itself was a resounding success and the organisers want to make it clear that everyone gave their time and talent voluntarily which managed to keep running costs for the event down to a bare minimum. They also want to thank the local media who helped them promote the event and help boost interest in it. They will give a complete account of the event and sponsors once they sign off on it.
The organisers are keen to point out that people can still donate up until Friday, September 26th when they will close the credit union account and transfer the funds. “It’s important for people to know that every cent we raise is going straight to the hospital, there are no admin or management fees or anything else involved. Whatever we have in the credit union account the last Friday of September is what is going to the hospital.”
The group are amazed at both the generosity of people and where donations are coming from. People with Inishowen connections in far-flung Canada, the US and Europe are sending money. “It just shows how big-hearted Inishowen people are. These are hard times for all of us, with unemployment, emigration and all sorts of charges yet people still want to help kids who are suffering through no fault of their own,” the spokesperson said.
The organisers have promised to publish full details of all income and expenditure once the account is closed as they feel it is important that the public knows exactly where every cent went. Anyone wanting to contribute to the fund can do so directly at Buncrana Credit Union or to any of the committee members who can be contacted at the ‘Plaza for Gaza’ website and Facebook page.