The proud mum of a Celtic-daft disabled boy told how she was “overwhelmed” when the County Flute Band wanted to help her son go to the Special Olympics.
Swimmer Ronan Foley, who is autistic and has learning difficulties, needs to raise £500 after being selected to represent Scotland West at the Special Olympics National Summer Games in August 2017.
And, less than 24 hours after receiving this good news, members of the County Flute Band, who practice every Thursday night in the Orange Halls in Wishaw, turned up at his mum, Katie’s door, in Tinto Crescent to tell her they would like to raise the money to send Ronan to the Games.
Katie said: “Everybody knows Ronan is a Catholic boy, so we were absolutely delighted and overwhelmed when the County Flute Band asked if they could sponsor him to go to the Olympics.
“We were very touched about it and it is mind- blowing.
“The fact Ronan is a Celtic fan doesn’t matter to these guys.
“He received his £100 sponsorship last Thursday.
“The guys came to me after their band practice and gave me £100 and said ‘make sure Ronan gets there and we will fundraise the rest of the money.’
“Five hundred pounds is a lot of money and I just wanted to say I am really appreciative to these guys, thanks so very, very much.”
The band will hold a dinner dance with entertainment in the Orange Halls on a Friday night later this year to raise the bulk of the money.
They meet in the Orange Halls every Thursday from 7.30pm to 9pm.
Jim Scott, spokesman for the band, said: “He’s a good laddie and gets on with everyone.
“Everyone in the housing estate knows Ronan, so it was a no-brainer for us.
“Every boy has a dream to be a football player or in a rock band.
“Now Ronan has a dream to get there and we wanted to make that dream come true for him.
“We hope he comes back from the Games with medals and we can say we helped in that.
“It is all about helping the community.”
Katie said that the band wanted to present Ronan with rest of the money with him wearing his Celtic shirt while the band members wear their uniforms.
She added: “I thought that was great because they don’t care about religion and it is taking the stigma away from sectarianism.
Ronan agreed and said he would wear his Celtic strip with great pleasure and that he would put his top on for them.”
Ronan is a member of Clyde Valley Beavers who train and swim at Wishaw Baths. The club, who will hold their gala day on Sunday, March 17, have nine members taking part in the special games including two youngsters with Down’s Syndrome. It costs £500 to send every child to the event and Central Wishaw Community Council, who also praised Ronan’s achievements, are considering ways in which they can help the group compete.
Katie said: “I am very proud of Ronan.
“He has achieved something that no-one thought he would achieve. About 389 children are expected to represent Scotland West at the games and a staggering £200,000 has to be raised to send them there.
“The group have to fundraise themselves as they don’t get any help.”
Katie will write a letter to the leaders of the Orange Order to thank the local band for what they have done for her son.
She added: “I think it is only right and proper that the Orange Order know what their members here have done.”
Article taken from the Wishaw Press.
Related Article – Ronan’s Journey and The County Flute Band