Portarlington’s gala ball is the hottest ticket

it is time to forget the doom and gloom of recession, and throw on the glad rags, because Portarlington’s glittering Gala Ball is approaching fast.

it is time to forget the doom and gloom of recession, and throw on the glad rags, because Portarlington’s glittering Gala Ball is approaching fast.

A highlight of Laois’ social calender, the eighth annual Charity Gala Ball will once again take place in the Heritage Golf and Spa Resort Hotel in Killenard, in just five weeks time, on Friday February 22.

Celebrity barrister Gerald Kean is returning again this year to lend his kind support to the charity ball, among other special guests yet to be announced. The Keith McDonald Showband also returns to entertain the glitterati, and a four course meal with complimentary wine and fabulous spot prizes will guarantee a fantastic night for all, right through to the early hours.

With tickets priced at a recession friendly €50, interest is huge, reports Marie Corcoran, one of the trio of ladies who organise it each year.

“There is great interest, it is always a great night and the glitz and glamour is always unbelievable. We are expecting 400 people this year, we always get great support locally, it’s a chance for friends to get together while supporting a great cause,” she said.

Throughout the years, the ball has raised over €150,000 for many local charities, and this year it is the turn of the autism support group LOFFA to get a much needed boost.

“We know many families in Portarlington who have children with ASD, and with cutbacks they are crying out for help, it is so important to get therapies while children are still young,” Marie said.

Fellow organiser Maria Molloy thanked local businesses for supporting the ball.

“We are very grateful to the shops, businesses and people who donate prizes. The generosity of the community is fantastic. There really is great interest this year, many balls have died out because of the recession, but everybody is a bit down, and something like this boosts people up, it is like the Christmas of balls. The feel-good factor is unbelievable, you are giving to charity, but getting a good fun night out,” says Maria.

Together with Collette Kennedy, they are busy putting the final touches to this year’s event, and tickets can be purchased from them, or from Saoirse Care charity shop on Port’s main street. Call Marie 087 7589896, Maria 086 3058181 or Collette 086 2654277.