By Maria Tracey Westlifes Kian Egan is preparing to take the plunge... at 10,000 feet.
The Sligo singer is set to swap the microphone for a parachute when he jumps out of plane next week in aid of the Strandhill Indonesian Relief Fund (SIRF).
The charity was set up by three Strandhill surfers, student Allan Mulrooney and brothers, Barry and David Mottershead, originally from Cape Town and who have been living in Strandhill for the past three years.
To date over ?9,000 has been raised for the fund, which will be used to help rebuild the Indonesian island of Java following the devastation left behind after last week’s tsunami.
And Kian’s parachute jump in Kildare next week, will help secure further funds for the cause.
“It’s great that Kian is prepared to jump out of a plane for the cause,” said 20 year-old Allan.
The Sligo star has also supplied a framed golden disc signed by all four Westlife members for the charity, which is expected to be auctioned on E-Bay in coming weeks.
And Westlife fans even came close to securing Kian to themselves for a few precious hours, when he initially offered himself for this Friday’s Surfers Man Auction in the Dunes Tavern, Strandhill at 9pm.
Unfortunately the Kian had to opt out of the event due to work commitments.
However, an impressive 20 surfers are still lined up for the auction, with an additional 20 on standby, if the demand for extra men prevails.
“We are going to auction off the lads for their trades, as we have two masseurs, a chiropractor and a web site designer among the guys lined up,” said Allan.
The victorious bidder will then secure the man of their choice for three hours on Sunday afternoon.
An Indonesian theme will be evident throughout the evening, as the marquee to the rear of the Dunes Tavern will be lined with palm trees and illuminated by colourful lighting. A cat walk will stand proudly in the centre of the marquee.
The event is hoped to increase awareness on the plight in Java, as last week the island was struck by the second natural disaster in the space of three months.
Initially the surfing trio had organised to work with the area effected by last May’s earthquake, however, last week’s tsunami has led them to change their plans.
“This is a new tragedy on the same island,” said Allan.
“As the earthquake effected area has a substantial amount of aid being pumped into it, we have decided to concentrate on the tsunami effected town of Pandangaran instead,” said Allan.
Due to corruption in Indonesia, Barry, Allan and David will travel out to Java on August 20, to provide people with the items they need to help rebuild their livelihood.
“We decided that we couldn’t go out with ?15,000 and just hand it out,” said Allan.
“So we were in contact with friends and they got us in contact with the charity IDEP, who will offer us advise and a four-by-four so we are not going in completely blind.”
Other events planned by the SIRF include the auctioning of World Championship-winning Mark Richard’s surfboard donated by Matt Britton of Surfers Village.
“This is fantastic of Matt to donate this and it really is hard to tell what an item like this will fetch,” added Allan.
The board will be auctioned off on the SIRF website, with the highest bid received by August 15 claiming it as their own.
Also a screening of last week’s paddle race will take place tomorrow night at the Strand Bar at 8.30pm.
The race saw 13-year old Aaron Reid beat off strong competition to take first place, paddling six kilometres across Sligo Bay in just under two hours.
Copies will be for sale on the evening for ?10 for paddlers and ?15 to the general public.
Those wishing to sponsor the project can contact Allan at 087 6532209 or Barry at 086 1999015 or log on to www.sirf.org.