The Irish American community will soon come together for a fundraising weekend for the Gill Family Fund.
Kalie Gill, 15, a student at St. Barnabas High School, was tragically struck and killed by an out of control car at a church festival at St. Paul the Apostle in Yonkers on October 11. Her sister, Lindsey, 12, was injured in that same accident and continues to recover from her extensive injuries.
On Friday, December 13, a benefit concert will be held in St. Barnabas High School Chapel at 425 E. 240th Street in the Bronx. The evening will kick off at 7 p.m. While the entertainment is still being organized, an array of talent has already committed. Craig Schulman, a Broadway legend who has appeared as the title roles in "Jekyll & Hyde" and "Phantom of the Opera" as well as Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables" will be among the performers.
Also performing will be Celtic Justice and Self Place, a contemporary pop and Christian contemporary music group. Local parish, school, and professional choirs will perform and student soloists will Irish step dance and play traditional Irish music.
On Sunday, December 15, a Mass will be held in Kalie’s memory at St. Barnabas High School Chapel, after which the fundraising efforts will continue at Rory Dolan’s at 890 McLean Avenue in Yonkers. From 2-10 p.m. there will be live entertainment, raffles and auctions for all in attendance.
Michael DeNobile, a St. Barnabas High School English teacher and one of the concert organizers, is urging the community to get creative.
“In addition to audience attendance, it would be a great help if the Irish community would get the word out there through different forms of media to raise funding for the Gill family. It’s the creative aspect, beyond simply begging for money, that makes more people want to donate,” he said.
One such creative idea was had by the PTA at Lindsey Gill’s school, PS 19 in Woodlawn, which is putting on a showing of "Monsters University" on Saturday, November 16 as a fundraiser.
Brendan Charles, the ticket and marketing chairperson for the fundraising event, has been overwhelmed by the support thus far.
“I have admired always the Irish and Irish American communities’ willingness to help those affected by tragedy. In the Gill case, being that the tragedy affected such a young girl so close to the holidays, the outpouring of love and support has been nothing short of outstanding,” he told the Irish Voice.
Checks can be made payable and mailed to the Gill Family Fund, c/o 961 McLean Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704. Donations can also be made through www.youcaring.com/kaliegillbenefit.