Charity gets huge boost as Hollywood legend offers to host two fans 2009: Fans Iconic

Charity gets huge boost as Hollywood legend offers to host two fans

Fans of the iconic 1960s and &lsquo70s western The Virginian have been given an incredible chance to spend 10 days in Houston, Texas, with

the star of the famous series &ndash for an outlay of just a tenner. James Drury, who is now 74 years of age, has offered a leading west of Ireland charity the most novel prize they have ever received. &ldquoJames visited Ireland last year, and got to know our work, and now he has contacted us to say two people can spend time with him over 10 days, all expenses paid, in Texas,&rdquo explained Noel Higgins of Western Alzheimer&rsquos. &ldquoWe were bowled over by the offer. The two lucky people will stay in a hotel in Houston, where The Virginian lives, and get to hang out with him over the 10 days. &ldquoFor many people, James Drury is a screen legend. Like many others, I was an avid fan of The Virginian in the 1960s and &lsquo70s, and it has enjoyed a huge revival in recent years thanks to re-runs on TG4.&rdquo Now fans of the programme all over Ireland are purchasing the &euro10 tickets from Western Alzheimer&rsquos, which has been forced to take the raffle online to cope with the extraordinary demand. &ldquoThe chance to be buddies with The Virginian himself for 10 days, and join him on a trip to the biggest rodeo in the world in Houston, Texas, has sparked enormous interest,&rdquo added Mr Higgins. &ldquoWe have even had interest from people in England, Wales, Germany, and the United States. All who donate &euro10 to us on our section on will be entered in the draw.&rdquo

The Virginian has developed a close friendship with Hollymount man Eamon Finnerty, who co-ordinated last year&rsquos visit to Ireland. &ldquoIt was like the visit of President John F Kennedy to Wexford in the 1960s,&rdquo said Eamon, &ldquopeople queued for hours just to meet The Virginian. He is an extraordinarily generous person who gives his time freely to anyone who wants to talk about the programme.&rdquo

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