Santa’s Elves (front) at the Clanard Court Hotel, Athy, with (standing l-r) Denise Nolan of the Jack & Jill Foundation, Jimmy Rainsford of ‘Picture This’, Mrs Claus, Mary Fenin of the Clanard Court
““We are Athy through and though,” said Jimmy Rainsford, one half of Athy mega band Picture This.
Jimmy and his fellow band member Ryan Hennessy, who both hail from Athy, launched the Jack and Jill Santy Magical Trail at The Clanard Court Hotel last Friday.
There was great excitement at the launch with Picture This taking time to get into photographs with Mrs Claus and the elves.
Now in its seventh year, Santa’s elves will be on hand for a journey through Santa’s Magical Trail in aid of Jack and Jill, with every €16 raised funding one hour of home nursing care.
“We still live here and we'll be spending Christmas here,” said Jimmy .
“Ryan is from Clonmullion and I come from just outside Athy.”
And it seems they have no immediate plans to leave Athy. Asked if the boys will at some point have to move to the music scene in London, Jimmy replied: “Not a hope I am Irish.
“Ryan is the lyrist — we write all our own songs and music and Athy is a real inspiration for us. It's a normal life for us.”
The boys who also released their Christmas single 'This Christmas' last Friday have been friends for years. They hung out in the same circles in Athy and came together as a band out of a mutual love of music. Their unique alchemy, said Jimmy though, is hard to put your finger on.
“That's the mystery,” he said. “It just works.”
When asked what is their plan for 2017 Jimmy joked “world domination” before confirming their tour dates for Dublin will be next May.
“We will be touring in 2017 in May, we are trying to get our music out there to as many people as possible."
The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation provides direct funding, to families of children with brain damage up to the age of four who suffer severe intellectual and physical developmental delay, enabling them to purchase home respite care.
They also provide end of life care to all children up to the age of four years. These are children who as a result of their condition require intensive home nursing care.
Meanwhile Mary Joe Guilfoyle, Jack & Jill’s liaison nurse for Kildare, and the first nurse employed by the Foundation when it was established back in 1997, thanked all the team at The Clanard Court.
“I want to thank them for their time and energy in making this happen, and in raising much needed funds and awareness for our charity,” she said.