Friends and family of the late Ava Kelly handed out cheques totalling €35,000 this month thanks to the huge success of their Ava’s Day of Fun fundraiser which took place last month. Ava, from Cardistown just outside Tallanstown was just twenty when she died from a brain tumour on May 26th 2019.
She had been diagnosed with the tumour just thirteen months earlier and following her death her friends and family decided to have a fun day in her memory to try and raise money for a host of local charities including Ardee Hospice. Those plans had to be put on hold when Covid arrived but last month Ava’s Fun Day finally took place in Glyde Rangers field (the club who Ava played with) with a monster raffle helping to raise €35,000 in total. According to Ava’s mother, Audrey the day was more successful than anybody could have hoped for and she thanked everybody who supported the event.
“We were overwhelmed with the response to Ava’s Fun Day and I sincerely want to thank all of the local businesses in Ardee, Tallanstown and Dundalk who sponsored prizes for the raffle or who helped in any way. Nobody would take any money off me for the food or anything and everybody’s kindness was very much appreciated,” stated Audrey.
“We wanted to have a big day in Ava’s memory as from the age of sixteen she was always talking about doing something special for her 21st and she always had it in her head to go all out and have a great day surrounded by friends and family. Ava was nineteen when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and just twenty when she passed away so she never got to have that big celebratory day she always wanted. After she passed away we as a family were determined to do something to mark her 21st and that was how the idea of Ava’s Day of fun was born.
“We were all set to go in 2020 until Covid arrived which meant we had to postpone. We had already raised about €13,000 at that stage so we decided to put it into the bank and keep it there until the pandemic passed. Little did we know that normality wouldn’t return for a couple of years but once the restrictions began to lift we resumed organising the event and thankfully it was a great success.
“It was a bittersweet day for the family as we of course missed Ava so much but it was great to see everybody come out and support the event which was all done in our daughter’s memory. We raised €34,500 which we shared out between a number of charities and then we got a cheque for €500 donated to us late in the day which we gave to Dundalk Dog Rescue so all in all we raised €35,000. Once again we would like to thank all the sponsors and businesses for all their help and we want to give a mention to Ardee Coach Trim who sponsored the jersey’s we got made to wear on the day. We will be selling the jerseys soon with ten euro from each sale going to a charity of our choice and the link for that will be put up on the Ava’s Fun Day facebook page shortly,” added Audrey.