Back on September 19, 2012, Irish Thunder Drum Major Pete Hand joined with other members of the band, and pipers from throughout the Delaware Valley, for a solemn occasion: to bid farewell to Plymouth Township Police Officer Brad Fox. Fox was gunned down by a hit-and-run suspect September 13, just shy of his 35th birthday.
Fox left behind his wife Lynsay, who at the time was expecting the family’s second child. On March 25, Bradley Michael Fox Jr. was born, the new younger brother to older sister Kadence.
Ever since the funeral, the band’s sponsoring Ancient Order of Hibernians division has wanted to find a way, not to mourn Brad Fox’s death, but to celebrate his life and honor his memory.
On Saturday afternoon and on into the night, they’re going to do just that with a “Celtic Salute” at the division’s hall in Swedesburg. Proceeds from the celebration will benefit Fox’s family.
AOH recognition of fallen officers is nothing new, says Hand.
“A few years ago, when police officers were killed in Philadelphia, we ran a fundraiser for the Fraternal Order of Police. Because Officer Fox was a local resident, we wanted to do something like that again. A lot of us wanted to do it right after the funeral, but the family asked us to stand down until well after the holidays. We chose a date in the spring, and the date was agreed upon with the family.”
Hand knows Brad Fox would have approved of a Celtic-themed celebration. “We know from his co-workers that he loved the bagpipes. Irish Thunder was the main organizer of the pipe bands at his funeral. We had 80 pipers and drummers. We’ll be playing for him again on Saturday.”
And a big event it will be. Along with Irish Thunder, many local Irish bands and musicians are donating their time and talent, including the Paul Moore Band, Belfast Connection, Oliver McElhone, No Irish Need Apply, Fisher and Maher, the John Forth Band, and more. The Coyle Dancers will also perform. Additional music will be presented by DJ Sean Givnish.
Much of the entertainment will take place in a big tent in the parking lot behind the Hibernians’ HQ at 342 Jefferson Street, with more music and fun in the AOH hall, and downstairs in the lounge. It’ll all go on, rain or shine, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Hand says the division wants to do what it can to ease the family’s pain. “We want them to have anything they need.”
Tickets are $30, which includes beer, wine, soda, and hot dishes.
To purchase tickets or make a donation, contact:
Division President Ron Trask