VARIETY CONCERT: At the launch of the fundraising variety concert in aid for Comfort for Chemo Kerry in the Heights Hotel, Killarney from front l-r: Geraldine and Maurice Guilfoyle, Cora Walsh and Mary Fitzgerald. Back l-r: Bernard and Collette O’Riordan and Jason Doyle. Photo: Marek Hajdasz

By Sean Moriarty

 

A kind-hearted Kilcummin couple have decided against holding a joint 60th birthday and will instead run a variety concert in aid of Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

 

Launched in July, the new charity hopes to develop a Centre of Excellence to provide care for cancer patients in Kerry and their families. It is hoped this will take the form of a separate purpose-built unit on the grounds of UHK.

 

One of its first fundraising drives is a variety concert which will be held at the Killarney Heights Hotel on November 16.

 

Maurice Guilfoyle and his wife Geraldine, who is a cancer survivor, are the main organisers. They originally hoped to hold a joint 60th birthday celebration but have decided to place their efforts into a concert that will feature Killarney School of Music, Killarney Golf Club Choir and other local performers.

 

Maurice and Geraldine were originally hoping to celebrate their birthdays in the summer but the unavailability of musicians put the plan on the long-finger.

 

“We don’t mind one bit giving up our birthday,” Geraldine told the Killarney Advertiser. “A lot of people feel this time of the year is a time for giving and the support we are getting from volunteers and from musicians is just unbelievable – it is amazing for something that was very small starting off.”

 

Chairperson of  the charity, Mary Fitzgerald, told the Killarney Advertiser she is very grateful to Geraldine for thinking of them.

“She has been through it all and has seen exactly why we need such facilities in Tralee. She is giving up what could be her own celebration so we can continue to raise funds for the new unit.”

 

The charity has a number of patrons lending their help along with a hard working committee. Patrons so far include Radio Kerry presenter Elaine Kinsella, Gaelic football legend Maurice Fitzgerald, Munster and Irish Rugby legend Mick Galwey and Listowel writer Billy Keane.