The excitement is building ahead of the Naas Community Fete, which takes place on Saturday in the town centre from 12pm - 5pm.
Naas garda, Gary Cogan is among the organisers of the event, which marks the 25th anniversary of Barretstown. The not-for-profit camp for children with cancer will benefit from the event..
"Anyone who has visited Barretstown or who has needed their help understands what a special place it is. They are our neighbours and this is what community is about.Barretstown is one of the most magical places on the planet on our doorstep and we want to celebrate that. We also wanted to celebrate our town so this will be an event where everyone and anyone in town gets to showcase what they do,” said Gda Cogan.
Retailers will participate by displaying what they have to offer and by creating a colourful and attractive scene.
“We sometimes forget what an amazing town we live in, so this is a chance to remind ourselves of just that. We will have more food trucks and kids games and we even have a second stage with music to cater for the young and old alike. But, it’s the community groups and choirs that really make the day. Newbridge Wind Ensemble were amazing last year and we are thrilled that they are coming back to us again this year. There will be great opportunities to try your hand at rugby and soccer and see some hurling being played in Poplar Square.”
It will feature armoured vehicles of the Defence Forces, fire engines, Garda jeeps, Coast Guard and Civil Defence personnel.
“But, it will be the people of Naas who will transform the town for the day. And, it’s when I read the testimony below, that I'm reminded why we started this in the first place. Barretstown deserves this celebration. So does Naas.”
Debbie and Damien are from Co Kildare:
“Our family of five had just become six with the birth of our fourth boy, Oscar. He made our happy family complete and was adored by his three older brothers, James, Mathew and Conor. For two weeks, our world was perfect and serene. Then, on Good Friday 2017, our world was turned upside down when our eldest son James was diagnosed with leukemia. He was just 12 years old and in 6th class. It was devastating news and the impact on our beautiful family was ravaging. Our family was segregated with Mathew and Conor staying with relatives and my husband and I only meeting in Crumlin hospital for a change over from staying with James while he had intensive chemo, blood and platelet transfusions and lumbar punctures. He deteriorated rapidly. Our happy, carefree scouter boy was no longer visible. Within 3 months he was confined to a wheelchair, alienated from his friends and missing out on his childhood. Noticing the dramatic change in his demeanour and the stress on our family, our hospital social worker suggested Barretstown. We were very unsure however due to his loss of mobility.
Barretstown rang us and dealt with any fears we had. They assured us that due to their Med
Shed, all medical necessities would be met. Bloods, chemo through IV and medication would be well looked after. We dropped off a worn down, nearly defeated son and collected what seemed like a different boy. He had his smile and zest for life back. It made us determined to rule his cancer and not let his cancer rule us. When we weren't in the hospital we were going to embrace life as Barretstown does and we have kept up that motto. Barretstown means a lot to us, it symbolises family life and getting through things together with a smile on your face and
determination. It changed our outlook on our cancer journey and for that we will be forever