Astoria fund-raiser to help fight cancer exceeds goals for sixth consecutive year

By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

The online campaign that accompanied The Andy Mac & Friends holiday fund-raiser at Astoria’s Beans & Lager reached its goal last week.

Now, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity that funds cancer research, will receive $11,190 in addition to the $1,500 raised from the Dec. 15 benefit event.

Andrew MacNamara, the Brooklyn-based musician that started the fund-raiser six years ago, turned to social media to express his gratitude.

For the past six years, MacNamara organized and hosted a holiday fund-raising event to raise money for St.Baldrick’s Foundation in honor of his niece, Fiona. In 2011, the then 2-year-old was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After a year that MacNamara can only describe as “hell,” the now healthy 9-year-old went into remission.

MacNamara, his friends and his family have come together every year since then to work toward saving others from such suffering.

To date, the online campaigns and annual events have raised $52,656 for St.Baldrick’s, according to MacNamara, who donated the online campaign’s final $20. He did so in honor of his mother, Fiona’s grandmother, who passed away in 2014.

When asked how it felt to raise such a sizable amount of funds, MacNamara refused to take credit.

“Well … I didn’t raise it. My friends and family did,” MacNamara said. “If I had to guess, it probably feels really damn good.”

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