Billy’s Malawi Clinic Documentary Film Fundraiser
WEST SPRINGFIELD––“In the Name of the Son,” Irish filmmaker Mark McLoughin’s moving documentary recounting Mags Riordan’s life-saving efforts in Cape Maclear, Malawi, will be shown at the Majestic Theater, Tuesday, September 26 at 7 pm. Tickets, which are $20, can be purchased by calling or visiting the theater’s box office. A talkback session with McLoughlin and Riordan will follow the screening of the 50-minute documentary.
Riordan, who splits her time between Cape Maclear and Dingle, Ireland, started the clinic in 2004 to honor the memory of her son, Billy, who drowned while visiting Malawi five years earlier. After learning that the impoverished but physically beautiful land had just one doctor for every 800,000 residents, Riordan began raising funds, including during annual visits to the Big E in West Springfield. The clinic tends to the basic medical needs of 30,000 Malawians each year.
West Springfield-based non-profit Billy’s Malawi Project USA, which worked with McLoughlin on the film’s development, has funded several projects at the clinic over the past two decades. Those, in part, include the building of an HIV/AIDS clinic; funding solar panels that allow Billy’s Clinic to function independently of the country’s unreliable electrical infrastructure; and purchasing a vehicle to transport patients from Chembe Village to large hospitals elsewhere in Malawi.
The compelling film is the latest accounting of the clinic’s work. Bondsville author and Bay Path University instructor Suzanne Strempek Shea’s This Is Paradise introduced many to Riordan’s remarkable story of resilience and compassion. That was followed by Mags, Majestic Theater producing director Danny Eaton’s stage adaptation of Strempek Shea’s book. The play starred Cate Damon.
The Majestic Theater box office on 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, is open Monday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm, and Saturdays, 10 am – 1 pm. The phone is 413-747-7797.