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The Richard Family

Boston, New York, Kansas fundraising efforts for little Irish dancer who lost leg

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The Richard Family

The suffering imposed on the Richard family of Dorchester has struck a chord with millions of Americans. Eight-year-old Martin Richard was killed in the blast, and his seven-year-old sister Jane lost her leg, while their mother Denise suffered a head injury. Jane is an Irish step dancer at the Clifton Academy of Irish Dance in Milton.

The Boston Irish community is rallying to help this brave family by organizing an event called Dance Out for Jane, to take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the John Hancock Hall in Boston's Back Bay.

The show will feature college Irish dance groups from all around Boston, including a special performance of current local World Medal Holders and a former World Champion (also from Boston).

They have raised over $22,000 thus far, but there are still plenty of tickets to be sold, said Stephanie Armstrong, one of the organizers.

Meanwhile in New York a music and dance show Saturday will raise funds for the family of Jane.

The organizer, Unateresa Gormley, an Irish dance instructor from Greenwood Lake, N.Y., said she was determined to do something when she read about Jane.

“I felt we had to do something to help,” Gormley said.

Meanwhile, another fundraiser for Jane will take place in Kansas City. This party-with-a-purpose will feature live Irish music and dancers from The Driscoll School of Irish Dance, The O'Riada-McCarty-Manning Academy, Céilí at the Crossroads, and Clanna Éireann Celtic Dancers.

Cost is $10/person; $5/student with ID; $25/family; kids under 12 are free.

All proceeds will be sent directly to the Richard family.

The organizers would like to extend a special thanks to the Kansas City Irish dance community and musicians for their enthusiasm and commitment to this event, along with many others who have gone above and beyond to help make this event happen.

Meanwhile Irish dance legend Micael Flatley is helping with a magnificent quilt which will raise funds for Jane and her family.

The genesis of "Wrapping Jane in Our Love," was a Facebook campaign to take T-shirts representing Irish dance schools and make them into a quilt.

So far, they have collected 172 shirts from schools plus one cummerbund won by a male competitor and have received pledges for shirts from 293 more schools, all from 15 or 20 countries.

Also, Michael Flatley, creator and choreographer of the Lord of the Dance musical, has sent a signed shirt as well as one signed by the cast, said Flatley publicist James Harvey. A quilter in Boston has assembled a team to sew the quilt. They have enough shirts to make quilts for the entire Richard family, plus a wall hanging.

If you would like to help but are unable to attend any of the events donations may be made at www.richardfamilyfund.org.

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