Heavenly Helen

Photo: Stock image.

Photo: Stock image.

An unusual fundraiser was held in late January for Petra Bangemann who has been a volunteer trainer and an important part of the Special Olympics family for many years now. She wants to travel with the team to the games, which are coming up later this year in Los Angeles.

Celebrity trainer and motivational speaker Helen Walsh stepped up to gather support and hosted an evening of self-improvement to raise funds for airfare and expenses. The crowd gave Petra a well deserved cheer for her hard work but we suspect that they would have come out regardless, to see Helen Walsh speak, or rather perform.

Walsh started the show, we’re calling it that because it was as entertaining as it was informative, by getting the crowd to jump around a bit and get their blood flowing. She then took them through a simple series of exercises on paper that showed them what areas of their lives needed tuning up and then told them how to go about it.

Another very worthy cause that Walsh is raising funds for is heartbreaking to hear about. Before Christmas she met a single mother of three who was working in her local supermarket. They got chatting and it became clear that she is struggling caring for one of her children who is autistic, but even more critically is in danger of losing her home through debt she is unable to pay.

Walsh has a long-standing food hamper initiative. She gathers items from donors and distributes them locally, and through other charities she put a special hamper together and got it to her. There soon arrived a heartrending missive from the woman’s 11 year old son saying thank you, but also “good things never happen to us”. This inspired Walsh to do something special for the beleaguered family.

“I’m calling it Love Blast and it’s a way of using Valentines day to raise desperately-needed money for this family,” Walsh told NewsFour. “I’m asking people through Facebook to put €5 in a Valentines card with a simple message and send it to me or I’ll collect it. I want to get at least 100 people so we can buy the family a few weeks to breathe. I’ll be dropping them up personally as a little surprise on a day that should be a happy one.”

If you want to help either worthy cause check out the NewsFour website or our Facebook page.

By Steve Kingston