herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Croke Park to rock to the Sam Show

Big Ball to promote young people's well-being

A WISE woman once said, everybody paints the face to meet the day.

The 'Under the Mask' Charity Ball takes place in Croke Park on Friday, April 17. It will help raise the profile of teenager's mental health.

"The idea behind the title is that you never know what is going on behind people's masks," explains Sam Osborne.

On the night, the memory of Keith Cooper will be celebrated.

Keith played with Raheny, St Sylvester's and Parnell's. He was on a Dublin Development squad.

ENJOYED

"Keith really enjoyed playing and supporting the GAA, and he was extremely proud of his grandmother, Carmel," says his Dad, Gary.

Carmel is a decorated Dublin All-Ireland winner. She has given a lifetime of service to camogie.

Carmel always said that Keith was "a hurler, through and through".

Since Keith died, the family have started fund-raising for Pieta House.

"We are also trying to highlight the awareness of depression, particularly among young people. If we can save one person through our support, that will be a success," states Gary.

He applauds the vision of Sam, a young student, in organising the event.

Five hundred are expected. Bressie and Nikki Hayes will speak. Stephen Cluxton has arranged a signed Dublin jersey. The aim is to raise over €20,000 for three charities - Head Strong, Pieta House and Aware.

"Sometimes, people don't understand that depression is actually an illness, and not just an emotion," remarks Sam.

"People find it very hard to speak about it. They exclude themselves from family and friends. They feel their life is worthless. They may begin to feel suicidal.

"That's why getting help is vital. It can change people's thinking, and save lives.

"I want people at the end of the night in Croke Park to feel 'ye, it's ok if I'm struggling, or if someone else is. And that talking to someone helps'."

"Sam has shown by his initiative that there is light at the end of the tunnel," declares Gary.

If any business would like to offer sponsorship, please contact Sam at underthemaskball@gmail.com or 086-1266937.

Tickets can be bought at underthemask.eventbrite.ie More details on the Facebook.com/underthemaskball

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