ONE of Ireland’s favourite comedians, Brendan Grace visited Dunamaise Arts Centre for a show last week and while he was in town he also launched the centre’s Christmas auction, which will be taking place at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on Tuesday November 6 at 7.30pm.
The auction, which is being organised to raise funds to help promote tourism (Laois Tourism) and the arts (Dunamaise Arts Centre) in County Laois will be facilitated on the night by John Dunne of Hume Auctioneers, Portlaoise. There may even be a few celebrities there to bang the gavel for a lot or two on the night.
Most of the items being auctioned on the night have been donated or sponsored by local organisations, individuals and artists. The lots on offer will feature something for every generation from toys to tickets and vouchers; art and antiques; fashion and beauty, signed sports merchandise; furniture and electrical goods; gym memberships; solicitors conveyance fees, hotel and self-catering accommodation and much more.
Of particular note on the night will be two vouchers for Brown Thomas worth €1,000 each; a private master class and lunch with renowned Laois artist Gemma Guihan; a Hurley signed by the Kilkenny Senior Hurling team and breeches signed by jockey Ruby Walsh among many other unique gifts and handcrafted items.
The auction is part of a vigorous fundraising campaign being undertaken by Dunamaise Arts Centre to reach a €24,000 target by the end of 2012, to meet a deficit that needs to be met to keep it afloat in 2013. Throughout the last 13 years, the Dunamaise Arts Centre has become a centre of excellence and has been highly commended by the Arts Council, the community and other organisations and individuals, including President Michael D. Higgins. The Board of the Dunamaise has recently undertaken new plans for the future with the introduction of various elements under the banner of Renew, Re-invent and Re-engage. The auction is one of these elements and is vitally important to the centre’s fundraising activities.
The role of Laois Tourism is to promote and market Laois as a tourist destination at home and abroad and to encourage new investment and improvement of existing products. Entry to the auction is free on the night and the catalogue for the event is priced €5 and includes a free entry to a raffle which includes prizes such as flights, hampers, tickets and more. For more see www.dunamaise.ie or www.laois.ie.