ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Walk through the streets of downtown St. Pete this weekend, and you'll find the sights and sounds of St. Patrick's Day. Green bar crawl invitations and people dressed as leprechauns line the sidewalks,while members of the City of Dunedin Pipe Band march down Central Avenue.
Crowley's Downtownis harnessing the luck of the Irish in its inaugural Irish Street Festival, raising money and awareness for a special cause.
"It's a lifelong struggle that we're going to be helping her deal with," says Crowley's co-owner Denyse Deegan.
She's talking about her 14-year-old daughter, Joelle, and the struggle that began a few months ago.
"I kept on looking at myself in mirrors and talking about my weight and I would only eat an apple a day," Joelle says."That's how it went on for a couple months."
Her mom noticed a change and took her to see a doctor. The diagnosis: anorexia. Local treatment options were limited, the family says, so they got help at a treatment center inSan Diego. It was a necessary, but expensive step.
"After treatment, I soon came to realize that I have a problem and I need to fix it," Joelle says.
Her mom adds,"We were just very blessed to have friends and family raise money to get us there, and now we want to do the same."
That's why the street festival is so important. All the food and fun raises money for a foundation created at Crowley's called Goodbye ED, which stands for Eating Disorders. The moneywill go to helping another family that isin need oftreatment for an eating disorder, but can't afford it.
Goodbye ED isstill looking for a family to help. If you orsomeone youknow could use the support, email Crowleys.
Crowley's Downtown plans to hold three festivals throughout the year to raise money for Goodbye ED.