Piper Bags Funds to Fight Cancer for Sixth Year Running

Courtesy photo    Alameda Bagpiper Andy MacKay raised thousands to fight cancer on New Year’s Eve. Locals can still help.

For the sixth year in a row, the Alameda Pipe-athon hit the bars of the Island City on New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay in Scotland). The Pipe-athon features Scottish ex-pat and Alameda resident Andy MacKay playing “Auld Lang Syne” on the bagpipes in 20 bars and restaurants on the Island while simultanesouly raising funds for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

MacKay is accompanied by Team Pipe-athon, which includes Jake and Elwood Blues and Sister Mary Stigmata (of the 1980 comedy film The Blues Brothers) who “encourage” Alamedans to donate to ACS. On the way, the piper also played for officers at the Alameda Police Department in appreciation of their service.

“The Alameda Pipe-athon has become a great way to spread some traditional Scottish New Year cheer, and raise some much needed funds to combat cancer,” MacKay said. “This year in particular I’m playing for my brother-in-law, Sylvester, who is bravely battling prostate cancer in the U.K.”

Over the six years, the Pipe-athon has raised almost $25,000 for ACS. So far this year’s event has raised nearly $4,500 of the $6,000 target, which the team is still hoping to achieve. 

“We’d like to thank all the people of Alameda who came out to support us and ACS,” said MacKay. “It’s always great fun and a unique way to spend New Year’s Eve!”

Readers can still help the Pipe-athon Team achieve their target with online donations at www.hogmabay.org.