Maria Molloy, Gerald Kean (guest of honour), Sean Doyle (Fair City) and Marie Corcoran , at a previous Charity Gala Ball in the Heritage Hotel, Killenard. Photo: Michael Scully
The perfect antidote to dark January days in Laois is on the horizon, namely the glitzy Killenard and Portarlington Gala Charity Ball.
The 12th annual ball takes place on Friday February 23, once again returning to the five star luxury of The Heritage Killenard.
Fundraising trio Collette Kennedy, Marie Corcoran and Maria Molloy are once again working to ensure that everyone has a brilliant time at the charity fundraiser.
Marie describes what makes the night such a memorable success every year.
“It all starts at 7pm, with a red carpet entrance, and JL Sound there to serenade them as they arrive in all their glamour. Some people start dancing there and then. Then they sit for a fabulous three course meal at 8pm, with lots of free wine for every table,” she said.
There are amazing prizes to be won all night.
“Some are worth up to €300, and every table wins a prize. After the meal we have the Keith McDonald Showband getting everyone on the floor. That is followed by a disco into the early hours. The hotel goes all out to decorate the room too, and it is a beautiful hotel,” Marie said.
Every year the ball raises thousands for local charities, such as the Laois branches of the Irish Wheelchair Association, Special Olympics and Down Syndrome Ireland.
“Over the years we easily raised over €250,000. People are very good for supporting us and we do really appreciate seeing them return every year,” said Collette.
Among their loyal regulars is special guest, celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean who last year pledged €10,000 to Down Syndrome Ireland Laois branch on the night.
This year they are keeping it very local, with all funds going to Portarlington Senior Citizens Christmas Party.
“We will hold the senior citizens party on January 28 also in the Killenard hotel, it is getting very big, about 270 are coming this year, from Portarlington and surrounding areas,” said Marie.
The ball has been a success right throughout the recession, helped by the reasonable €50 ticket price.
“We keep it within reach for everyone. Many groups buy a table together. It’s great for the local economy too, with the hair, the nails, the tans and the dresses and shoes all to be got. Everyone looks a million dollars on the night, people look forward to it every year,” said Collette.
Dress formal, For tickets call Collette 086 2654277, Marie 087 7589896, or Maria 086 3058181.