Celebration of the Festival of Bealtaine Fundraiser

Dear Sister Joanne,

On behalf of the women of my Nollaig Na mBan team, I’d like to thank you for joining us on May 1st at the fundraiser we held for The Dwelling Place of New York.

What an enjoyable afternoon we had as poets and dancers, with a mingling of rhythms welcomed the ancient festival of Bealtaine and helped raise over $1,300 for our chosen charity, The Dwelling Place of New York.

After our opening dance, The Sweets of May, poet, John Brennan took us back to our distant past when he read his piece about the Hill of Uisneach and its association with the festival of Bealtaine. John’s presentation tied in beautifully with “The Bonfire Dance” when poets, dancers and members of the audience joined together and danced to the skillful playing of Patty Furlong on accordion.

Margaret McCarthy’s poem, “The Selfishness of the Trees” and others from her collection had a distinctive Celtic flavor that brought the whisperings of oncoming summer breezes to mind.

Connie Roberts brought the mission of the fundraiser to focus when she read her “Mosaic” a poem she dedicated to the memory of a homeless Irish woman, Grace Farrell. Connie’s poems about a childhood spent in one of Ireland’s notorious industrial schools were a reminder that homelessness has many faces.

My thanks to these poets, to musician, Patty Furlong and the dancers with whom I enjoyed sharing the floor: Kate Foster, Anne Kelly, Nan O’ Shea, Hara Reisner, Alice Ryan, Silpa Sadhujan and Kim Tulloch.

My Nollaig Na mBan team members, Mary Fee, Dee Nolan, Nancy Oda, Vera Wrenn, Deirdre Batson and I are pleased with our efforts.

Our next Celtic festival and fundraiser for this shelter will be Lughnasadh – August 1st.

Our blessings on the work of the shelter.
Maura Mulligan

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