A group of Irish Americans from Philadelphia have raised $2000 for an elementary school in Kingstons Springs Tennessee.
The tale began in late April earlier this year when a group of about 50 Irish and Irish American travellers led by radio host Marianne MacDonald arrived in Nashville Tennessee for a 4 day tour of the city.
During torrential downpours on May 2nd the group set off for Memphis to continue on the second leg of their trip. Due to the heavy rainfall the group was then diverted to Kingston Springs where they were told by local police that they would have to remain until the flooding subsided.
The group spent the next few hours in the local BP gas station as they waited for the highway to reopen. A bus full of Irish people, musicians and instruments resulted an an impromptu ceili in the parking lot. Passers by were in awe of the party and filmed the event which was later posted on YouTube.
Residents and local businesses extended their southern hospitality as Quiznos provided trays of sandwiches and water for the stranded tourists, while residents offered their homes for the night.
Some time later a Kingston Springs utility worker came to the rescue and told the bus driver about a back route to Nashville which hadn’t been flooded. Almost an hour later the group found themselves back in water damaged Nashville they had left just hours earlier.
After the flooding had subsided the true devastation of the flooding emerged as the group of tourists later heard about the damage caused to Kingston Springs Elementray school. Truly grateful to the southern hospitality that was extended to them in their time of need Marianne MacDonald and the musicians decided to host a fundraiser event entitled “The Gas Pump Ceili” at the Philadelphia Irish Center.
The event which included song, dance, music and raffles raised $2000 which MacDonald and Fintan Malone later presented to KSES principal Jill Bramble.