By Kate Heaney
A QUADRUPLE birthday celebration among the McKnight family of Glenmaquin in June saw cheques worth €24,000 being handed over to three grateful local charities at the weekend.
Alyson and Mabel McKnight celebrated their milestone 40th and 60th birthdays respectively while cousin Margaret and husband Jonathan McLaughlin celebrated their joint 50th all together on June 9 this year.
Initial plans to hold the event in a local hotel were shelved in favour of opting instead to host the happy event in the barn on their own farm and what a night it was.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week Alyson said their Uncle Malcolm was to come from Scotland to celebrate his birthday with them but that didn’t happen.
“There were around 300 people at the party. It was a great night with Hudson Blue playing the music. We had an auction and people donated lots of different items for it, from toys to weekends away, even chimney sweep services as well as hampers and vouchers.
“We raised far more money than we expected to. People were so generous. We had hoped for maybe €10,000 to €12,000 so raising double that at €24,000 was just wonderful,” Alyson said.
The decision on what charities to support with the money lay close to home for all of the McKnights and the decision which to support was made before the event.
“The Buddy Bear Trust was my choice as I have a nephew, Harry, with Cerebral Palsy and when he was little he couldn’t walk. We found the Buddy Bear school online and it got him walking. They get no government funding of any type and I wanted to help them.
“My mother went to Glenmaquin National School and they were building an extension and she decided that was what she wanted her charity to be.
“My cousin Margaret had breast cancer and she wanted to say thank you for her great care and help others. We are very grateful to everyone who made it possible,” Alyson added.
The cheques were presented on Saturday night in Luca’s Restaurant in Letterkenny to the three charities with some 35 people attending.