Castleisland based singer and entertainer, Pat Cassidy set himself a challenge after his brother and sister died of cancer.
The Omagh, Co. Tyrone native wished to put his considerable talents to use by raising funds for the Irish Cancer Society.
Pat’s novel idea of singing 100 of his favourite songs went down a treat at the Ivy Leaf Art Centre on Saturday afternoon.
It became an Afternoon Tea Dance. It was on the afternoon, there was tea for all and there was dancing and donations to the cause.
Accompanying himself on his trusty keyboard, Pat also attracted the support of local musicians – many of whom he played with before in various band and group combinations. While his grand-daughter Grace Murphy filled in the 100 song chart as they were being sung.
Every Cent Going to Charity
“I don’t even know where to start thanking people. Everyone gave their time and their services free of charge. We got the venue from Jerome Stack. Garvey’s, Centra and Aldi and Lidl rowed in with supplies for tea and so many shops in town donated spot prizes. And that means that every cent we raised will go directly to the charity,” said a delighted Pat.
“I was hoping to raise €1,000 from the afternoon and we’ve passed that mark and I’m still getting tenners and €20 notes from people I meet on the street,” Paddy said.
Growing up, as he did in Omagh, Pat and his age group couldn’t avoid the influence the show-band scene had over their young lives.
“There were so many bands there at the time. The first show-bands came out of the area. I remember The Clipper Carlton being on the radio and television. They were local lads and our heroes and we were hooked on the music from then on,” he recalled.
Pat wished to thank all those who helped him out with his event on the day: “Kathleen and Tom McAuliffe, Betty Walsh, Breda Galwey and Rita McCarthy, Dodie and John Scollard, Eva Coffey and John Cassidy. I can’t forget the help I got on the day from Noel and Timmy O’Connor – they were all brilliant.
“We got through it and had a bit of fun for the afternoon and the dancers enjoyed themselves and there’s money coming in for the charity – that’s OK by me.”
Will it become an annual event? “We’ll see – if the demand is there for a repeat we’ll certainly consider it,” Pat concluded.