What an absolutely joyous night we had at the official launch of our beautiful Christmas CD, "Rejoice and be Merry". As we entered the warm and welcoming surroundings of Barker and Jones Bookstore on a cold November night, we were greeted by our own sweet voices! Manager Kate Hayes had our music playing in the background as a host of guests and friends arrived to chat, sip wine and have their first look at "Rejoice".
Pride of place, as is right and proper, the First Citizen of Kildare, Mayor Brendan Weld, got the proceedings off to a rousing start. We're so grateful to Mayor Weld for fitting us into his hectic schedule which involved three other events that day. He gave a warm and heartfelt speech to open the launch, and I can personally vouch that he joined in the singing later on.
After a few words of appreciation from our Chairperson Mary Clarke, we were interested to hear the history and future plans of the wonderful group of volunteers known as Friends of Naas Hospital. To our delight, we learned that some of the proceeds of the sales of our CD will help refurbish an unused courtyard in the hospital, turning it into a beautiful Healing Garden to delight all five senses and restore the spirits of patients, staff and visitors alike. In addition, the Friends explained how they have recently renovated unused rooms in the hospital to provide comfortable and comforting surroundings with a hospice-like feel for patients who are reaching end-of-life, and who now can spend those last precious hours with their loved ones in peace and with dignity.
We all agreed that we couldn't have picked a more valuable charity to be our partner in this ambitious project.
Of course, we couldn't let the evening end without a little music and a communal chorus of Adeste Fideles drew the official part of the evening to a close. CDs sold like hot cakes, and coffee and refreshments were generously sponsored by Barker and Jones.
We shouldn't boast (but we're going to anyway) within forty-eight hours of the official launch, the 75 choir members alone had bought or sold over 600 CDs, it's a pleasure to work and sing with such an enthusiastic group of people.