A big weekend of fun, music and fond memories of loved ones lost, is planned in Abbeyleix in March all to raise money to fight cancer.
The 'Mad Hatters Weekend' is being organised by the family of the late David Pratt, on March 3 to 5.
The only son of Roy and Edith Pratt, David passed away aged 26 after a brave battle against leukaemia.
His family decided to hold a fundraising weekend, to mark David's 50th birthday.
“We thought this would be a fitting time to go ahead and put our ideas into action,” said his sister Janet Stewart who lives in Mountmellick.
Their idea with a ‘Mad Hatters Weekend’, is for everyone to wear fun hats to show their support for cancer patients, who wear hats if they lose hair from chemo .
It starts on Friday March 3 with an Ecumenical service of Remembrance, combining with the World Day of Prayer, at 8pm in St Michael and All Angels Church of Ireland. It will be celebrated by Canon Patrick Harvey and V Rev Gerard Ahern PP, with refreshments afterwards.
“It is nice to hear people's memories of David. Everyone has special memories of loved ones but they can be afraid to share them in case it causes upset. We want people to bring along a photo so we can form a wall of remembrance, There will also be a ‘Memory tree’ for messages,” she said.
Saturday begins with a 5k Family fun/ walk or toddle.
“We are honoured to have our friend Nicole Turner, Irish Paralympian Swimmer to start it at 12pm. Registration begins at 9.30am in Scoil Mhuire NS. There are medals for the first 100 to cross the line and chocolate medals for children,” Janet said.
The fun run is for Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust. Sponsorship cards are available, registration €10 per adult or €20 for families.
From 3pm to 5pm there will be free family fun, face painting and games by Garry Byrne, of Giant Game Hire, all in The Manor Hotel.
That night in the hotel. Laois band TRANSMITTER will provide a rocking night, with lots of prizes. Tickets €15 available in shops and from Edith Pratt or Janet.
On Sunday morning March 5, Abbeyleix Fire brigade comes out in force for the Irish Cancer Society, with a sponsored Pump Push from Abbeyleix and Portlaoise.
A multi vehicle and bike road run ends the events on Sunday afternoon.
“Everyone in Abbeyleix is already very supportive, so our slogan for the weekend is Abbeyleix Unites Against Cancer,” Janet said.
A programme of events will soon be in local shops.
The fundraising kicks off with a Table quiz in Turley’s Pub, Mountmellick, nextThursday February 16 at 9pm, in aid of Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust. Questions kindly provided by Mr Paddy Buggy. Table of 4 €20. Raffle on the night.