KENMARE hairdresser Lisa O'Shea received a belated but very welcome 21st birthday present last week and it's sure to have her heart in her mouth.
Thrill-seeking Lisa has been handed the co-driver seat in rally driver Johnny Fitzgerald's Mark II Escort for the forthcoming Banna Beach Resort Kerry Winter Stages.
The prize was part of a unique fundraiser, 'Win a Spin', for the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus and Lisa's prized seat followed a massive raffle in The Roughty Bar with the prize eventually auctioned off to raise even more funds.
It was stepfather Denis Griffin who placed the winning bid and the impromptu auction, presided over by Dan McCarthy, came after raffle winner Ann Marie O'Sullivan, drawn out by Deputy Michael Healy Rae, suggested that the co-driving seat should be sold to help the cause.
"She hasn't jumped out of a plane or anything like that but she's the type who would if offered the chance, so I thought something like this would be ideal for her," Denis said afterwards.
Denis, who lost his sister Susan to cancer a few years ago, eventually handed over €745 for the prize and the figure boosted the final tally to well over €6,000 with funds still coming in, according to event organiser Johnny Fitzgerald.
"We got a huge response, particularly from the rallying fraternity, and sold a lot of tickets at The Kilgarvan Show, Kenmare Fair and the Cork 20," the rally driver said.
"I was motivated to do something after my father Stephen used the Cancer Link service in April and May this year, so I was able to see first hand the level of care the bus service provides. It's a great service and makes the journey to Cork an awful lot easier as people can meet others in a similar situation," he added.
Johnny had been selling tickets for the draw since last August. "I want to say a massive thank you to everyone that attended the night and all the people that sponsored spot prizes and anyone that helped out in any way," he added.
Kerry Motor Club is covering the entry fee for the duo. Lisa, meanwhile, has just two weeks to prepare for the November 10 Banna Beach Resort Winter Stages. Kerry Motor Club has reported a steady stream of entries and additional entries can still be made online.