It was an every year thing. The whole family would get out of bed super early, clad ourselves in green and head out into the early morning darkness. We’d meet a dozen or so friends at Old Chicago and join the already gathered mass of Rainbows United supporters for the Blarney Breakfast. The food. The dancers. Local celebrity friends like Tim Norton and Mark Chamberlin pouring coffee for tips. The smiling faces of the volunteers. This was our tradition, and we loved every minute of it.
I’m not sure how many years we’ve been going. Both of my children have been attendees since they were born, and my oldest is eleven. We started going as a family, and as the years passed, we’d invite friends to join us. Our group would be so large that we would have to split up among multiple tables. Bundles of swag would be purchased. Pictures would be taken. We’d laugh and enjoy the company of friends and family. It was a magical way to start a day.
Then came 2020.
In March of last year, the pandemic took hold. For our family, Blarney Breakfast was our first cancelled tradition. And it hurt. We understood, of course. Our rational brains told us that not having the gathering was the right thing to do. Months later, having had to miss out on many other events, the one that still stings the most is Blarney.
But this year is different. Rainbows United has created a new, safe way to celebrate with Blarney Breakfast To Go, and we can’t wait. This drive-thru Blarney will still have many of the things we love about the fundraiser. A full carry-out breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and biscuits! Irish dancers jigging their hearts out! Bagpipes blaring! We will get our fix and keep tradition alive.
And, most importantly, vital funds will be raised for children and families who need support. By attending Blarney To Go, we help ensure that families in our community have knowledgeable, caring people to help them access services and treatments. We do our part to help children bring their potential to life.
I hope to see you there in your car, decked out in green. Now more than ever, we need our traditions in any form we can experience them. And children and families in our community need Rainbows to be a guiding light toward a brighter future.
John DeCesaro, Blarney Breakfast Enthusiast and former Rainbows’ Board Member