Young performers’ New York dream realized thanks to help of big-hearted Lanarkshire community


A group of young entertainers from Lanarkshire are just weeks away from the trip of a lifetime to the Big Apple.

Nine starlets from Go Kids Scotland performing arts group will jet out to the United States and march in midtown Manhattan.

Elise McCloy, Riley McCafferty, Craig Mitchell, Chloe Murphy, Olivia Merrylees, Logan Byrne, Ruby Byrne, Megan Walsh and Megan Mccourt will also be filming a music video and performing their own show while stateside.

The nine-strong troupe will take part in the 24th annual Tartan Day Parade as it makes its way along 6th Avenue to 55th Street in Manhattan on April 9.

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The trip was planned by Garry King, principal of the Wishaw-based charity, with the help of assistant Jade Lewis.

Last year Garry became the first winner of the Pride Glasgow TikTok Drag Race competition, and has recently decided to use his contacts for a drag night at Rivals Gym in Wishaw to help raise funds for the trip across the pond.

More than 200 people attended and with the help of fellow drag performers Barbra La Bush, Nominated Divine, Pippa Abstracta, and female vocalist Lisa McKechnie, they were able to raise more than £2,200.

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Garry said: “The Rivals Gym guys have been great and it’s good to get these local organizations working together for the good of the community. A number of the entertainers were from Lanarkshire and I’m really passionate about getting people from here involved.”

He took the opportunity to thank the local community and businesses who have rallied round to help them raise thousands of pounds for flights and accommodation.

The drag night at Rivals Gym in Wishaw was a huge success

“We have raised 95 per cent of the funds we needed and want to say thank you for spreading the word,” Garry added. “The money has been raised in our area and that’s staggering given what is going on just now. It’s been mental but we’re getting there.

“We have had help from Asda Newmains, Tesco in Wishaw and Bellshill, The Beauty Kitchen, The Pink Turban, Rivals Gym, Kirsty’s Traveling Tearoom and many more local individuals.”

A group of Go Kids youngsters performed at the Alhambra Theater in Dunfermline recently alongside John Partridge, who played Christian Clarke in Eastenders and also featured in the stage and film versions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Cats.

Garry revealed: “The group that went up there are ones who aren’t going to New York. It was a great opportunity for them. And Paul’s Coaches provided the transport for us so it’s another example of local businesses linking up.

“I would love to be able to take all of our 175 young people to America but it’s just not possible right now.”

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Go Kids is a registered charity for more information email: [email protected] or call 07961 817734.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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