BOSTON – Billy Higgins of South Boston returned from Ireland recently warmed by the wonderful reception he received in County Donegal where he presented a check for $20,000 to the Patient Social Fund of the Ballaghderg Preschool for children with special needs including moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and complex care needs.
The check was given on behalf of the Southill Children’s Fund of Boston which Billy founded in the early 1980s to help students in Southill, Limerick, Ireland.
A major portion of this donation was raised at a fundraising event held at the Boston Irish Social Club in honor of Oran Nibbs who recently passed away. Mr. Higgins met with the Nibbs Family while in Donegal, also making a special presentation to them.
The $20K donation will help to complete the creation of a multi-sensory room and provide enormous therapeutic benefits for the children including relaxation, sensory awareness, facilitating communication and managing their environment.
With parents as partners a holistic service is provided in a safe environment where the children learn to develop and grow through play and with programs tailored to their level of disability.
During his visit, Billy was accompanied by Donegal Councilor Ciaran Brogan and received special thanks from Eugene McElroy, Business Manager for Donegal Disability Services, who assured him that the funds donated would enhance the quality of care being delivered and be used exclusively for the benefit of children attending Ballaghderg Pre-School.
Billy was very thankful to everyone in Boston who made it possible to give this donation to such a worthy cause in County Donegal and that included especially Mick Duffy who sold the most tickets, Michael McCarron and Pat McDevitt from the Donegal community and Richard Gormley, a leader of the County Roscommon Association and the Irish Social Club.
This marked the second large donation to the pre-school with the first in 2016. It continues the many charitable works that Higgins is associated with both in Ireland and in Boston. A kid who grew up poor in the Lower End of South Boston, Higgins achieved great success as a small business owner and real estate developer in this most Irish of American towns.
A visit to Southill in Limerick to watch his daughter compete in an athletic event reminded him of his own childhood growing up poor in the poorest part o South Boston and led to his establishing the Southill Childrens Fund.
When friends from Ireland asked him to intercede on behalf of the Ballaghderg Pre-School, he couldn’t say no. He receives great satisfaction from his charitable work and everything he does is done in the name of God and love for the children who benefit from his donations.