A woman who celebrates her 90th birthday today has raised almost €13,000 for Age Action and the Irish Red Cross through the medium of dance.
Kathleen Lynch from Co Louth had been planning a one-woman 90-minute dance party in her back garden starting at midday on Friday and reaching a crescendo at 3.09pm to mark the exact moment she was born in 1930.
Her husband, 94-year-old Donnie, was also planning to get involved to dance at least one waltz during that time.
But then she decided to broaden her ambitions by calling on the rest of Ireland to join her for a one-minute dance at the exact time of her birth.
Paramedics from the Red Cross, gardaí and even a couple of nuns answered the call and showed up at her home to lend their support over the course of the afternoon.
Perhaps more important than the dancing was the money she managed to raise in just a few days.
A GoFundMe page set up by her family to raise money for the Irish Red Cross and Age Action, which has set up a hardship fund to help vulnerable older people experiencing added financial stress due to the Covid-19 crisis, attracted hundreds of donations .
Kathleen’s aim was to raise €1,000 but shortly before 3pm on the day of the dance, the total was just under €13,000.
Her daughter, Geraldine, said her mother had been “completely humbled” by the outpouring of support for her charity fundraiser.
“How it all started was that she said she didn’t want anything for her birthday because of the situation in Ireland at the minute and then she said if we wanted to do something would we give money to a charity that needed it at this time,” Geraldine said.
“So she chose the two charities because they were dealing with the fund for older people.”