The recent Sile Beattie Remembrance Walk raised a remarkable €31,068.10 for the Irish Cancer Society. The late Sile Beattie was an extremely popular young woman and this phenomenal fundraising response is a great tribute to Sile and her family.
On the lead-up to Sunday, 20th of February – the day of the Walk – people starting dropping in donations to Ned’s Bar in Knockcroghery. People wanted to donate in some way in Sile’s memory. Because of such an outpouring of generosity and support from the surrounding community and Roscommon Town, it became apparent than an auction and raffle would be held on the night of the Walk. This was never the intention of the organisers and both the auction and raffle only transpired because of the great generosity of so many people who wanted to be associated with the Walk, itself a fundraiser for cancer research in Ireland.
The day of the Walk (February 20th) was very cold and blustery, making the turnout of over 400 people all the more remarkable. Registration was taken by Sile’s sister Sinead, and some of her closest friends…Niamh, Eilish, Sarah, Fiona, and Tara. (This event was organised by Sile’s family and closest friends).
An astonishing €9,492.10 was taken in (during registration) at Knockcroghery Community Centre which was very kindly opened for use by Patsy McSharry. George Ward kindly sponsored free water for all runners and walkers. There was the choice of a 6Km or a 9Km route. On the starting point there was a picture of Sile on her first day in national school and for every km sign that people reached, there was a sign with a picture of Sile at different stages of her life, from First Holy Communion to her Graduation Day, to her walks for Darkness into Light which her family participated in yearly in memory of Sile’s sister Georgina, who passed away in 2001. The pictures included Sile’s last birthday celebration (her 30th birthday) followed by her very last picture – taken in October 2019 – at a wedding Sile and her partner Tom attended a month before Sile’s cancer returned.
The finishing point was Ned’s Bar, where Sile loved to socialise. All signs were kindly sponsored by XLNT Signs (our thanks to Siobhan Kilroe, like Sile, from Knockcroghery).
Stewarding was provided by Sile’s family, friends, and neighbours. Without this huge voluntary input the event could not have been the success that it was.
Refreshments were served in the bar, with sandwiches, scones and buns all made and donated by family and the Beattie family’s wonderful neighbours. McNeill’s foodstore in Roscommon kindly donated sandwiches and Dolan’s Frozen Foods in Lanesboro very kindly donated delicious food too.
A raffle held in Ned’s Bar raised an additional €680. Our thanks to sponsors of prizes: The Red Parrot; Murray’s Bar, Knockcroghery; Mai’s Kitchen; Ned’s Bar; Down the Hatch; The Clay Pipe; Coffey’s Bar, Lecarrow; Rattigan’s Bar; Eileen Edwards; Charlie O’Brien/RosMed Pharmacy; Kevin McPhillips; Sandra Dolan, Claypipe Centre; Mee’s Bar; Pa Quigley and Paul O’Connor.
The auction on the night was very kindly conducted by Matthew Donnellan, from The Brewery, Roscommon. It raised a further €4,595. (See auction sponsors in separate panel). Music was provided by Ollie Finneran.
Seamus O’Neill, on behalf of Sile’s partner Tom and the Beattie family, very bravely said a few words to thank most sincerely everyone who came out in support of Sile’s Remembrance Day (and night). He thanked everyone for all the generous donations for the auction and raffle. Seamus explained that in light of the rare form of cancer Sile had been diagnosed with, all proceeds were going into research.
The final total raised for the Irish Cancer Research was an astounding €31,068.10. This came from: €9,492.10 in registration on the day; €680 on the raffle; €4,595 on the auction; €1,950 in donations outside of registration; €14,351 from the online JustGiving account. A cheque for €31,068.10 was thus presented to the Irish Cancer Society (for research).
The family are so grateful and thankful to Anouska and Richard Lohan of Ned’s Bar for hosting the event and for refreshments. Thanks also to Tanya who worked so hard on the night. We are so grateful for all you did in organising a last-minute auction and raffle which added so much to the overall total raised.
The Beattie family and Sile’s partner Tom are lost for words as they reflect on an event that in reality they obviously wish they never had to host. The love for Sile shown on the day and prior to the event has helped in some way to ease their pain. They are beyond being thankful to each and every person that helped in any way. That generosity and support will in turn help another family or families who will benefit from cancer research.