Tracy Keogh of Naas, a long-time employee of Kildare County Council, recently took a career break to work with a charity called NPH International in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
This charity operates homes, healthcare campuses and educational facilities for hundreds of children, many of whom have been abandoned by their families due to disability.
Tracy recently expressed her thanks to family, friends and the wider Naas community for their massive financial and moral support in getting her to Haiti.
She wrote: “Special thanks to my work colleagues at Kildare County Council. Chief Executive, Peter Carey, granted my career break on humanitarian grounds. I’m very grateful to him for making that gesture of solidarity to Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world.
“Thanks to Ann Marie Conneely (Community and Cultural Services), Eddie Hennessy (Kildare Sports Partnership) and many other staff members who organised fantastic fundraising events for NPH Haiti, including a gala tea-party at McAuley Place on the August 27 (pictured here) and a sponsored walk at Aras Chill Dara on September 20.
“The tea-party featured surprise guest appearances by Newbridge Gospel Choir and Athy band Picture This and the sponsored walk was great fun for all who participated. A total of €5,116.80 was raised at these events, a very significant sum in any context. Kildare County Council rallied for this cause, as it does for many others. It made me feel proud to work there.
“I would also like to extend my thanks to the wider community of Naas. The team at McAuley Place contributed a function room, refreshments and staff time to the tea party fundraiser.
“I can’t sing the praises of this stunning venue enough; it made an occasion of our event.
“Many local businesses contributed generous spot prizes for the raffle on the night, while others gave a small discount on goods and services when they discovered my destination and the purpose of my trip.
“I hear a lot about the decline of Naas town centre but this experience has shown me that a strong community spirit still exists on the main street and beyond. Naas retailers support local people; maybe we should all support them back.
“I would like to return some of the goodwill and kindness I’ve received by acknowledging it here.
“I look forward to making a useful contribution in Haiti on behalf of my family, my friends, my workplace and my very special home town.”