On Saturday, February 2, McGowan’s in Newtownforbes was the venue for the ‘Shave for the Brave’ event, when locals Elaine Reilly and John Gerard Mimnagh shaved their heads to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society. “The very public shave of one John Gerard Mimnagh who has had his hair the same length since his teenage years, and of Elaine Reilly’s beautiful locks which fell to her elbows - was a huge sacrifice”,” one of the organisers Loretto McGarry told the Leader
“It was a sacrifice, however that they were very happy to undertake,” she added.
Joined by their families and friends - who travelled from all over Ireland – Elaine and John reached their goal on the night, after spending the previous two months fundraising for the Irish Cancer Society, and putting the finishing touches to the event in picturesque Newtownforbes. Over €7,000 was raised with further donations and charitable acts visible on the night.
“All this was the culmination of two and a half months of fundraising, with two Ladies ‘Donate and Buy’ nights - one held in Newtownforbes in December, and one held in Carrigallen in January,” Ms McGarry added. “There were also several Darts nights held in McGowans Pub; two Cards Nights held in MJ’s Bar and Mitchelle’s Bar, Carrigallen, an Anne Summers night held in Holy Blue Hair Salon in Drumlish and donations from The Dolls House beauticians in Ballagh from treatments on February 1 last. So it was a busy, but fun road to McGowan’s last Saturday night.”
The shaving was carried out by the expert hands of Annette Flaherty, owner of Holy Blue Hair Design, Drumlish, who offered her services on the night for free, and lcoal DJ Ken Kerrigan also provided the entertainment free of charge Gerry McGowan donated the venue for the event, and food was provided for, by Little Bites and Laura Geelan – also free of charge.
“The whole event from start to finish was full of fun, emotion, music, prizes and a positivity,” said Ms McGarry. “It also helped to raise awarness for the Irish Cancer Society, which does great work. We are all touched in some way by cancer and everyone dug deep. The total raised is €7,000 with promised donations and collection boxes still to be delivered, so that total is set to increase further.”
If you would like to donate to Elaine and John Gerard’s ‘Shave for the Brave’ log onto www.mycharity.ie, select ‘sponsor a friend’ and then type in Elaine Reilly, and donate any amount form €2 up using Debit or Credit Card. Donations can also be made at any of the shops and pubs in Newtownnforbes, Longford town, Carrigallen and Drumlish.