THE DRIVE by Drogheda man Paul Hayes to have the charity single ' Tiny Dancer' as the Christmas No 1 received its best endorsement yet last week when singing superstar Elton John tweeted his support urging everyone to buy it!
The single, which can be bought in CD World for €2 or on iTunes for €1, is raising money for Paul's four-year-old niece Lily-Mae Morrison, who has a rare form of childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma, which has a relapse rate of 70% in the first two years after treatment.
The single has already reached number one in the online charts after its release on Friday
Lily- Mae, whose parents Judith Sibley and Leighton Morrison are both dancers, is also a great little mover, and is undergoing surgery to remove a tumour this week, after receiving the good news the cancer in her bone marrow and on her bones is gone.
' There is a real chance of us getting this to the Christmas number one and raising the vital money needed to research this disease,' says Paul, who showed great dedication last week in being one of 12 locals who stripped off for a charity calendar to boost funds.
' There is no treatment in this country for relapse, however, there are cutting-edge trials available in Europe and America, but they cost in the region of €500,000, our target.'
The single has been for sale since Friday and is already on target to be a December number 1.
The cheeky calendar called ' Ship Street Uncovered' is available in the Barbican priced €10, and features all the actors from the popular play in various stages of tasteful undress!
' It was the idea of actress Anne Nolan, and we all had great fun making it, with photographer Eric O'Neill putting everyone at ease,' he laughs.
Other people who posed for the naughty calendar are Linda Kenny, Terrence O'Neill, Jenny Thompson, Denise Geraghty, Bianca Browne, Ann Collier, Paul, Colm McArdle, David Andrews, Michael Duffy and Ann Nolan.
' The single has received so much support all over Ireland, and to hear from Sir Elton was the icing on the cake, so we really hope people buy it is droves, and have a different number one in Ireland to the usual X Factor one.'
Tiny Dancer' is sung by a choir of 250 made up of people from all over Ireland plus Declan O'Rourke, Paddy Casey, Camille O'Sullivan, Mundy, Mickey Joe Harte, Tom Dunne, Mary Black, The Pale, John Spillane, Kila, and many more, and a very special guest singer, Lily-Mae's father, Leighton Morrison.
' To date we have raised over €120,000, which has all come from the generosity of people, so we would love one or two corporate sponsors to come on board,' adds Paul, who is the manager of the Barbican centre in Drogheda.
'You can help by buying the single or gifting it to someone else, otrdo a fundraising event like the many in Drogheda and around the country.'
Alternatively you can donate at: The Sunni Mae Trust, AIB, Dyer St, Drogheda Acc: 56935068 Sort: 932094.