The 11th annual Portarlington & Killenard Charity Gala Ball takes place this year on Friday, February 24, with Laois Down Syndrome as its chosen charity.
A firm favourite in the Laois social calendar, organisers say tickets for the glamorous night at €50, are “flying out”, with another memorable night in store.
Portarlington ladies Marie Corcoran, Colette Kennedy and Marie Molloy organise the ball every year.
"It is always a great night, full of glitz and glamour. Over half of the 350 tickets are sold,” said Marie.
Dublin Solicitor Gerald Kean, who appeared on Celebrity Operation Transformation, is again a guest of honour this year.
“We are delighted to again be supported this year by Gerald who always gives us very generous support.
“We have more celebrity guests that we will confirm closer to the day," said Marie Corcoran.
The ball is again in the Heritage Hotel Killenard, with music by JL Sound and drinks on arrival, a four course meal with more wine, followed by dancing until the early hours to the Keith McDonald Showband.
Over the years, the Balls have raised hundreds of thousands for many Laois charities.
“We have raised about €300,000,” estimates Marie.
There is a positive ripple effect for local businesses.
“Many people already have their ballgowns bought, and the hairdressers, tanning parlours, nail bars are all booked out for miles around. It's great for the economy of Portarlington.
“Everyone gets a chance to wear their jewels and fur, but at the end of the day it's all about helping a great local charity,” she said.
Mick Gorman is chairman of Laois Down Syndrome, and he is delighted that it is the chosen charity for the first time this year.
“As well as dinner and dancing, guests have the chance to win in a raffle, with generously donated prizes from local businesses, worth hundreds of euros each.
The night starts at 7pm sharp, and dress is formal.
Tickets are available in the Saoirse Care charity shop, Portarlington, or call Marie at 087 7589896, or Colette at 086 2654277
Pictured at the 2016 ball were Maria Molloy, Gerald Kean (guest of honour), Sean Doyle (Fair City) and Marie Corcoran.
Photo: Michael Scully.