LAST Friday evening best friends Shannelle Smyth (10) and Laura Byrne (11) set a target for themselves to raise €100 for the Irish Cancer society. On Tuesday morning the exhausted duo woke up to the news that their bake sale had unbelievably passed the €4000 mark with money still coming in.
The Tallanstown natives have both lost loved ones through cancer and sent out the feelers on Friday asking their parents and family members if they would donate money to their Irish Cancer Society fundraiser in exchange for some buns and cakes. Very quickly the fundraiser grew legs and before the generous duo knew what was going on neighbours and passers by stopped at their roadside stall to donate money to their cause. According to Shannelle’s mother Sonia the idea was completely of their own making and what was initially supposed to be a modest bake sale turned into the two best friends, known affectionately as ‘The Twits’ working like demons all weekend to keep up with the demand of the donations coming in.
“The two girls have been best friends since three years of age and live about half a kilometre apart. Shanelle has a twin brother and she considers Laura as a twin too. They often wear the same clothes and they call themselves ‘The Twits’, laughs Sonia.
“The girls came to myself and Fionnuala (Laura’s mother) on Friday night asking could they do something for Daffodil Day for the Irish Cancer Society and we both said they could bake a few buns and cakes and ask a few family members for donations. That night both girls where hardly able to sleep, with idea’s of picking wild daffodils in local fields and bunching them for sale as well as baking buns and cakes. Their wee minds were dancing with dreams of how to make their fundraiser reach €100,” explains Shanelle.
“Saturday morning came and the girls bunched the daffodils whilst their buns baked in the oven. With only an hour to go, myself and Fionnuala posted about the event on facebook. When 2 o’clock came the girls were ready for action. They had their baking complete, homemade signs, posters, sanitizer, and masks, along with their personalised receipts to thank people for their contributions. Nothing was forgotten for their stall on the roadside.
“Well the traffic started to stop with the help of their siblings and they played a stormer, selling their bunches of flowers, daffodil badges, buns, scones and cakes, not forgetting to include their receipt with their hand written expression of gratitude for every donation. Very quickly almost 300 buns, scones and six cakes where running low but their money box was growing very fast. Both girls were high on adrenaline with pride.
“At 3pm when the stall closed up, the girls were ecstatic having reached €600 so both mammy’s took to Facebook to thank the family, friends and strangers that had supported their daughters. Within minutes of the post going live, the driveway got very active and numerous more family, neighbors and friends flooded the letterbox with donations, within an hour the girls had reached €1000, this continued to grow and grow as the hours passed and by the next day the girls had raised another €800.
“Still in shock the girls continued to bake and went out to family, friends and neighbors that had donated to their doors, they delivered their homemade buns in the rain along with their personalised receipts and badges,.By Sunday evening the girls had reached another €1000 raised, now almost reaching €3000. Donations flooded in from not only the locality but from as far as family all over the UK, France and America. When they woke on Tuesday morning their total had unbelievably surpassed €4000,” stated Sonia.
“Shannelle has lost 3 grandparents due to cancer and her friend Laura has lost her very young uncle so I suppose that’s where the inspiration for the fundraiser was born. We are very proud of the two of them and we are so hapy they are able to hand over all that money to a very worthy cause,” added the proud Mammy.