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Hawaii group’s fund to help Irish families in aftermath of Berkeley balcony collapse

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    The balcony broke loose from the building during a 21st birthday party early Tuesday
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The Irish nonprofit behind Honolulu’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade has started a fund to aid family members of students killed in a structure collapse in Berkeley, California.

During a June 16 birthday party, a fourth-floor balcony fell, taking with it 13 people. Three men and three women in their early 20s were killed. Five of the six were students from Ireland who were in America with short-term work visas, and one had dual Irish-U.S. nationality. 

There are three ways to donate to the fund set up on Tuesday by Hawaii’s Society of the Friends of St. Patrick. 

>> Deposit a check into the fund’s American Savings Bank account. Make the check payable to the Friends of Saint Patrick with the memo line: Berkeley J1 Aloha Fund to Account # 81028 32968

>> Mail a check to The Friends of St Patrick — P.O. Box 2178, Honolulu, HI, 96805. The check should be made out to The Friends of St. Patrick and should include Berkeley J1 Aloha Fund in the memo line.  

>> Make a contribution online at a GoFundMe.com fund established by mainland organizers, www.gofundme.com/J1tragedyfund. The GoFundMe campaign has so far raised more than $200,000. 

 “In a week full of tragedies and sad headlines we Irish of Hawaii are particularly sympathetic to these families facing such sad losses so far from home,” Bill Comerford, the nonprofit group’s chairman, said in a news release. 

Noel Trainor, honorary Irish counsel to Hawaii, said, “The funds we raise will assist the immediate needs of … families who must now cope with the loss of their children in a place far from home.” 

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