A unique fundraiser will be held this evening to raise funds to support a Glenties woman after her home was destroyed by a fire last month.
A 24-hour-music marathon is being held in The Highlands Hotel to support Breezy Kelly who had been living in a cottage in Gortnasillagh until it went up in flames on March 20.
In an effort to rally behind the well-known storyteller the fundraiser ‘Shoe the Donk-a-thon’ is open to musicians, singers, dancers and anyone who would like to support the cause.
A huge community effort in now underway to raise funds for Breezy, and her cat Tiddles, who were lucky to escape the fire unscathed. Sadly the pre-famine was destroyed as well as all of her belongings.
Fiddle-player Denise Boyle from Glenties is one of the event organisers. Speaking ahead of the marathon music session, Denise explained: “Breezy is a well-known and much-loved member of our community. We are devastated for her recent loss, and we want to raise funds to help re-build the thatch cottage.
“In 2004 we organised a very successful 24-hour music session, of the same name. It doesn’t matter if the only tune you can play is ‘Shoe the Donkey’ or indeed if you can play anything at all. This is about people coming together, raising money for a good cause, and celebrating our musical culture. Breezy is a great supporter of music in the Glenties and Ardara areas, and this seems a very fitting way to raise some funds.”
Singer Tommy Sands, owner of the thatch cottage where Breezy had been living, said: “I cannot find the words to express the thanks and sincere gratitude to the community around Glenties and much further afield for the kindness and interest in helping to resurrect this thatched cottage which Breezy had made a home. Breezy, a dear friend for many years needed an isolation place during Covid and so moved into the cottage.
“Unfortunately through a spark from the chimney the cottage went on fire. Thank God no one was hurt.
“ I feared we’d never be able to rebuild the cottage, then Breezy rang to say Alan McHugh was starting a Gofundme page, Denise was holding a “Shoe-the-donk-a-thon” in the Highlands Hotel and neighbours were sending words of encouragement and help. If enough money is gathered the house will be rebuilt and if it isn’t then the money will be donated to a homeless charity.
“If the cottage is re-built it will be dedicated to the vision of an open door to honour the traditions of Donegal that turns away no one with a kind heart without a cup of tea or a scone. And if at all possible Breezy will be the one who makes the scones.”
Breezy is known for her ‘Bake Bread for Peace’ campaign and ‘Raking the Ashes’ events.
The 24-hour session will get underway at 6pm this evening and continue on until 6pm tomorrow (Tuesday).
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