McPhillips family ‘touched’ at support of local community


Ray of Hope’ weekend to remember Mickey McPhillips is a huge success with talks, walks and music.

JUST a few days on since the completion of the ‘Ray of Hope’ weekend in memory of Mickey McPhillips, the immediate and extended McPhillips family are still overwhelmed at how ‘kind’ the local community have been in supporting their charity fundraiser.
The ‘Ray of Hope’ weekend started on Friday with the launch of the exhibition of Mickey’s work ‘Faces and Places’ at the Newtownbutler Community Centre. On Saturday, there was a day of reflection with many guest speakers including Fr Brian D’Arcy and Rodney Edwards, followed  
by a Comhaltas Ceoltois Eierann Concert and on Sunday there was a walk to Galloon Island.
Reflecting on the weekend, Mickey’s sister Cora feels very touched by the reaction and turnout to the event.
“When Mickey passed, we decided that we were going to give something back to the community. I cannot put into words how good the people have been to us.
“As I started my speech [on Friday]; ‘in a world where you can be anything, be kind’, and that is what people have been for us. It is not hard to be kind.
“The community have been so good to us and they have helped us spiritually and mentally and physically and financially.”
“It [the money raised] will especially be good for the RNLI as they don’t look for a pile of money and they do need it. Covid has left a lot that we can’t do.”
With the ‘Ray of Hope’ weekend now finished, the reaction from the community has left the McPhillips family keen to keep doing this charity fundraiser on an annual basis now.
“This will hopefully be a yearly event for us. We would like to do it in some format.
“We will take on the community and let them play a big part in it but we intend to keep his memory alive in a different format.
Aside from running the ‘Ray of Hope’ weekend on a yearly basis, the McPhillips family are also planning on becoming ‘buddies’ in the local community to provide help and assistance to the most vulnerable in society.
“We are going to be training up so that if somebody needs help over the phone, we will go to them and hopefully we will start the training for that in September or October time.
“Mickey was a first responder and he was only too glad to go out and help people.
“If somebody is feeling unwell, they can phone us and we can point them in the right direction,” she concludes.


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