Saturday, August 01, 2020

INCREDIBLE that’s what it is. €6,000 raised and donated to the Oncology Unit at Naas Hospital.

That’s vital funding raised for vital services at the Naas unit which cared for the late Margaret Deegan who sadly died on 8 March.

In recognition of the tender care given to Margaret, local hairdresser in Ballymore Eustace Elizabeth Deegan set up a bingo night through her Facebook page.

Monday nights became the only social engagement for women and families in Ballymore Eustace but soon extended to pull in players from the US, the UK and all across Ireland!

In Nottingham and Coventry, they tuned in every week; in Lexington, Kentucky and in Orlando in the US and of course, here in Ballymore and Hollywood.

Our photos include a young Julie photographed by Celine Dunne from Naas who was visiting the States and little Julie joined in the weekly numbers game.

“I want to thank everyone who supported the fundraiser,” said Elizabeth (Liz). “People were so generous with donating prizes and money. Special mention to Jen Skehan of What the Hook who donated five gorgeous little knitted bears, in their masks and PPE gear. Each of the nurses in the Oncology Unit were presented with one yesterday, along with a little tipple in the gift bags.

“Jen also made a little perky pig which was gifted to hospital worker, Barbara Scally who went above and beyond the call of duty when looking after Mum. My dad Jim, sister Jackie and the family so appreciated the kindness and professional care extended to Mum – we are forever in their debt”.

Thanks were extended to Sher Horan who donated the bingo machine. “I found it in the Honesty Box inside my gate,” said Liz. “That’s where people left donations and I left out the bingo sheets. Thanks to everyone for their honesty! Sher along with Peter Óg and Martin played every week too.

“We had players from 3 years up to 77 years, from little Donnacha on Chapel Street, to Eithne in Mullaboden, aged 77 years.

“The goodwill and support were great; thanks to Muriel Curry (handmade jewellery), Áine O’Neill (painting), Christine Deering (patchwork quilt), Gail Kinsella, Kildare Christmas Trees, Sharon of Giggles Childcare, Newbridge Silverware, Hollywood Flower Studio, Tilly’s and so many more.”

“These were the major prizes for a raffle at the end of the bingo but thanks to all those who donated prizes for weekly bingo, I was overwhelmed at the level of support.

Photos show Elizabeth and her son Simon Pearse presenting to Gwen Byrne (in lemon) accepting cheque on behalf of Friends of Naas Hospital with two of the nurses who looked after the late Margaret, Fiona Fitzpatrick and Ger Molloy (in blue).

We also have photos of little Donnacha playing here in Chapel Street, BME; Julie in Kentucky; Marian Nolan tuning in from Rathvilly, Co Carlow with her daughter Diane Mahon playing here at Broadleas and young xxx Munroe in Naas, delighted with his prize!

Final thanks to young Ruby Munroe who cut her gorgeous long hair and donated to Rapunzel Charity – and in doing so, also raised €100 to Elizabeth’s fundraiser.

A busy mum of three, Elizabeth, like so many business people across the country, refurbished and laid out the hair salon during the final months of the restrictions. She is an extremely good natured woman who showed much kindness to many during the height of the pandemic, delivering paté and salsa sauce, bingo sheets to those unable to travel, etc.

A former LIFE Credit Union Person of the Year here in BME, how proud the late Margaret would be… doubt she’d say “Well, we did rear our girls right!”

Well done, Elizabeth and to all who supported – €6,000 is one hell of an achievement and will put to good use at Naas Hospital and the Oncology Unit.

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