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Thursday 29 September |
The Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael
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WOW: Young Irish step-dancing champ gives away her medal to transplant patient

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Mary Laffey

The Daily Catch - published on 10/20/16

Mary Laffey loves to write on Facebook about the Irish step-dancing competitions (called a feis, and pronounced “fesh”) in which her daughter Mia participates and frequently earns a medal. Every feis is fun and rewarding, but at the first annual Lindsay Marie Memorial Feis (which is also a scholarship event), the dancing took on an especially poignant note, and not only because the event is named in honor of Laffey’s dear niece, a step-dancer who passed away at the age of 16.

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It seems that particular feis — and another one held the same weekend — both donated their entrance fees to benefit a young dancing instructor, Courtney Smith, who was recovering from a liver transplant.

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To everyone’s surprise, Smith showed up at the memorial feis, and Laffey shared what happened next:

“I witnessed the most amazing thing today…we were surprised with Courtney’s attendance at the feis. I asked her if I could introduce her as our recipient at the end of the competition and she agreed. She received the warmest applause from the audience. The competitors were then given their results, and as I was talking with Courtney, this young lady comes up to say hello and hands her medal to Courtney. She tells Courtney she wanted her to have it. Courtney told her she did not have to do this and the young lady said, “Yes, I do. I did this for you.” The warmest and most over-whelming feeling of love came over me as I watched this exchange. I was doing great at keeping the emotions in line all day as we celebrated the memory of my niece, Lindsay, and with this beautiful gesture, the emotions won. I wish I would have thought at the time to ask this beautiful young lady her name. So, to the dancer in the Green Solo costume, Thank You for your loving, caring and beautiful gesture.”

She ended: “Courtney beamed from ear to ear and proudly wore your medal the rest of the day as we all shared what an amazing person you are.”

An effort was made to identify the generous girl, whom Laffey described to others as a “a very young, little dancer,” and but the young lady contacted feis organizers, who wrote on Facebook:

The amazing dancer who gave Courtney Smith a medal contacted us and requested to be kept anonymous as it was a genuine act of kindness. This dancer reminded us of something Lindsay Marie would have done. We’re blessed to have such wonderful dancers attend our feis.

We need more stories like this to help counter all the negativity in the world. Thanks to Mary Laffey for sharing this story and these pictures, and to the little dancer with the big heart, somewhere out there in Ohio, we can only say, “WOW!” God love you. He is never outdone in generosity, so we bet there will be many more medals in your future!

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