No money. No parade. That is the crux facing the Portlaoise-based St Joseph’s Accordion Band.
The band has been invited to participate in next year’s New York St Patrick’s Day parade, but will be unable to do so unless it receives more donations, especially from business people.
Bandmaster Peter Smith explains that, while each member is willing to make a substantial contribution towards his/her own travel costs, there is still a substantial shortfall.
St Joseph’s Accordion Band, he points out, is also carrying the major expense of purchasing new uniforms and providing for new members.
Peter says: “We have been playing for Portlaoise people since 1957 and have represented the town on many occasions in surrounding counties at various events and parades. We are a voluntary organisation and take great pride in our music and our appearance.
“We feel very honoured to have this opportunity of representing Portlaoise and Laois on the great occasion of the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York,” he adds.
Donations to the St Joseph’s Accordion Band New York Fund can be lodged with Bank of Ireland, Portlaoise, account number 90188873423151, or given to any band member, including Kathleen O’Brien, Malcolm Smith or Dick Sides.
A fundraising cabaret for the band takes place in Billy Dees, Portlaoise, this Friday night, starting at 10.30pm. Food will be served and there will also be a raffle on the night.