BEVERLY — The logo for Pat Mac's Pack is intentionally goofy.
A green top hat placed above a pair of shamrock sunglasses and a matching green bow tie is the image commonly associated with the Beverly-based charity.
It's also the outfit that Patrick Thomas McNamara, 13, wore upon returning to St. Barnabas School after another stint in the hospital in early March 2011.
"He later told the teachers that it was the best day of his life," said Dee McNamara, Pat's mother.
Patrick McNamara died six months later after an 11-year battle with a brain tumor. Pat Mac's Pack aims to keep the memory of the gregarious teen alive through fundraisers for pediatric brain tumor research.
Howard Ludwig says Patrick made a big difference in a short time:
The latest fundraiser is a St. Patrick's Day Party set for 7 p.m.-midnight on Friday in the St. Barnabas Gym at 10121 S. Longwood Drive in Beverly. The event will raise money for the local charity as well as for the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
This California-based organization raised $38 million for childhood cancer research last year. Most donations arrive in the form of pledges for individuals willing to shaving their heads for the cause.
Indeed, barbers will be at St. Barnabas from 7-9 p.m. Friday. A $20 donation is required of all shavees as is pre-registration on the St. Baldrick's website.
While online donations are made directly to St. Baldrick's, there's also a $15 cover charge at the St. Patrick's Day Party. This along with proceeds from the cash bar and various raffles will go toward Pat Mac's Pack.
The group became an official tax-exempt, nonprofit organization three months ago. Prior to that, Pat Mac's Pack raised money for other local charities including the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Maeve McNicholas Memorial Foundation and the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.
Pat Mac's Pack began as a charity team in 2004. McNamara estimates the group raised roughly $100,000 for various organizations before setting out on its own to help financially distressed families of patients suffering from pediatric brain cancer.
This year, organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Party have dedicated their effort to Elliot McGann, who was diagnosed with leukemia on Nov. 28. Two-year-old Elliot is the son of comedian Pat McGann, a Beverly resident.
Last year the event was dedicated to Cameron Fahey, 17, of Beverly. Fahey and McNamara were once on the same basketball team. Fahey lost his 10-month battle with Burkitt’s lymphoma on Aug. 21.
In addition to the party, Town Armanetti Liquor at 10000 S. Western Ave. in Beverly will also donate 5 percent of its gross sales to Pat Mac's Pack on Wednesday. The effort aims to attract customers stocking up ahead of St. Patrick's Day and the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade.
McNamara said the outpouring of support she's received in the wake of her son's death has been overwhelming. Particularly heartwarming is seeing the students of St. Barnabas keep her son's memory alive through various fundraisers, said McNamara, a Beverly resident.
"I really think that they get it," she said.
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