Virtual Pipeathon Blows 2020 Away

Courtesy photo Andy MacKay performing at the Fireside Lounge for New Year’s Eve 2019.
Courtesy photo

Virtual Pipeathon Blows 2020 Away

Sun Staff Reports

2020 managed to bring a halt to many things, but it couldn’t stop the annual Alameda Pipeathon fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS), which went virtual this year. Bagpiper and Alameda resident Andy MacKay saw in the New Year virtually, piping in midnight with Auld Lang Syne for revelers in time zones across the world via Zoom, including the U.K. at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, then Eastern, Central and Mountain
Times in the U.S., with the big one at midnight Pacific Time.

“It was such a crazy year,” said MacKay. “We’re sad we couldn’t visit all the usual bars and restaurants that welcome us every year, but hopefully we kept the spirit of New Year’s Eve alive — we even managed to keep our annual ‘dueling bagpipes vs. fiddle’ engagement with 1400 Bar & Grill owner Yanni’s Mum, over the phone for her birthday!”

With an original target of $2,021 the Pipeathon has now raised more than $2,300, all going to ACS. Donations can still be given at MacKay’s Pipeathon website which is kept open for donations year-round at

“Thanks so much to all our donors — we’ll definitely be back louder and prouder for next new year’s — and will be in person once more! In the meantime please also help the wonderful Alameda bars and restaurants to get through these difficult times! Slainte!”