Bagpiping for Health

Courtesy photo    Alamedan Andy MacKay, the man behind the pipes and the Pipe-a-thon, receives some help from “Joliet Jake” and Elwood Blues, along with several other volunteers each New Year’s Eve to raise funds to fight cancer.

Alameda Pipe-a-thon 2018 ‘takes the fifth’ against cancer

For the fifth New Year’s Eve in a row, the Alameda Pipe-a-thon hit the bars of the Island City, with Scottish ex-pat and Alameda resident Andy MacKay playing “Auld Lang Syne” on the bagpipes in 21 bars and restaurants on the Island. In the process, he raised just shy of $5,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

MacKay was accompanied again by Team Pipe-a-thon, including “Jake and Elwood Blues” (Joe and Jamie, in kilts) along with Rod, Tony, Feargal and Bruno “The Pipe-mobile Drivers.” 

“After five years the Alameda Pipe-a-thon has become a bit of a fixture in the Alameda New Year’s Eve calendar,” said MacKay. “It’s a great way to spread some traditional Scottish New Year cheer and raise some much-needed funds to combat cancer.” MacKay lost his father to cancer three years ago, and, as with many people, currently has family and friends affected by the disease.

“We added a few new venues this year — Park Street Tavern, Star Pizza, Town Tavern and The Hunter — to get the total number of hostelries to 21, which is the largest number yet” said MacKay. “Thanks to everyone who came out early on New Year’s Eve, cheering us on ’round the Island and donating to the cause!”

Help MacKay reach his goal of raising $5,000. Donations for ACS can still be made at the Pipe-a-thon website,