Fundraiser to benefit Byrne set

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 23, 2008

NATCHEZ — Friends say Mike Byrne is the type of man who would give anyone the shirt off his back.

Now, when the owner of the Marketplace Café and his family are in a time of need, members of the community are in turn doing exactly what he would.

Last Saturday, Byrne suffered from a stroke and an aortic aneurysm.

Email newsletter signup

He was transported to Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria after suffering a stroke on Lake Concordia while on a fishing trip. It was while he was being admitted to the hospital that he had the aortic aneurysm.

According to his cousin Johnny Byrne, with hospital expenses, the expense of his family traveling back and forth to Alexandria and the disability of the major breadwinner of the family, the budget will be tight and the community wants to do something to help.

“They’re going to be faced with a ton of expenses,” Johnny Byrne said.

Help will come in the form of a fundraiser Saturday evening that will feature music, food and family festivities.

The event, spearheaded by Johnny Byrne and long-time friend Donnie Holloway, is a community-wide effort.

Johnny Byrne said there have been between 30 and 40 people donating time, money and food so far.

“People are coming from all over donating goods,” Johnny Byrne said.

Holloway agreed that people from near and far are making great contributions for Mike Byrne and his family.

“Tremendous contributions have been made,” Holloway said. “It’s been outstanding.”

To raise money there will be cakewalks, bake sales and raffles.

But probably the most money will be generated from selling food.

People can choose from boiled crawfish, all you can eat for $20 or $5 chicken quarters or a $5 pulled pork plate.

Two bands will be providing the music for the event that takes place at 5 p.m. at the Marketplace.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Johnny Byrne said.

Holloway said he’s expecting a good turnout.

Anna Byrne, Mike Byrne’s wife, said she hopes to attend the event.

“I want to be there on Saturday,” she said.

She said the family wants to thank everyone for their love and support.

“I just want to thank everyone for everything they’ve done for me and my family,” she said. “It has been amazing, I just can’t get over it.”

She encourages everyone to attend the event and have a good time.

“That’s what Mike would want,” she said.

While there will be fun to be had by all, when it all boils down, it’s pure and simple reciprocity.

“If this happened to me or you, he’d be the first one to come,” Johnny Byrne said. “Mike’s the first one to jump up and volunteer to help.”