Our 8th DLSP annual charity ladies lunch took place on Saturday the 6th May with all the glitz and glam to which we have become accustomed over the years. And what a huge success it was, raising over €5000 for The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The charity was nominated by our First Lady, Belinda Murphy, wife of President Barry Murphy, who like many others in our club has personally been affected by Alzheimer’s disease within her family.
We extended a warm Salmo welcome to Nikki Keegan, Elaine Crocker, Georgina Mahaci and Terry Murray from the ASI and were also joined by the lovely Emily McKeown, former Ireland & current Leinster ladies’ player, and local councillor Lettie McCarthy, who is a longstanding supporter of our club.
Guests were greeted on arrival by Under18s players Leah Nealon, Lizzie Cunningham and Éabha Lillis, and Johanna’s daughter Sinead Kearney. The girls were busy bees all day helping and being great representatives of our club. Thank you so much girls!
Once checked in, the ladies were greeted with a glass or two of some very lovely Graham Norton prosecco sponsored most generously by our club sponsor SuperValu Killester. The sun graciously added to the proceedings by making a surprise appearance, allowing us to sit out on the balcony and enjoy the views over the pitches before heading down for lunch.
As always, the function room in Kirwan Park looked spectacular! Finding tables and examining the contents of the pretty lush goody bags was a noisy affair, with lots of chatter and laughs. We must thank Barry Packaging, Tralee for their gracious donation again this year of their fabulous paper bags!
Eventually we got everyone seated and enjoyed a truly delicious 3 course lunch catered for by With Taste Catering, accompanied by wonderful wine, sponsored by Pembroke Wines. Thank you to the staff from With Taste for their great service on the day.
Our very own Gill Nealon was amazing as always doing MC on the day. She first welcomed Ladies team captain Leah O'Neill to the podium. Leah talked very passionately about women’s/girl’s rugby in our club. She is a wonderful role model for our younger girls, a terrific team captain, and an all-round super ambassador for our club and Women’s Rugby! It was a joy to hear her speak!
Next up Nikki Keegan, Fundraising Manager for ASI, who spoke about the charity itself and how vital fundraising is to keep this valuable service both going and growing. Nikki was both eloquent and informative, and everyone enjoyed her contribution to the event. On a lighter note, she added that as a Rugby Mum herself, it was a real treat to swap her usual rugby attire of wellies and wet gear for high heels and a bit of glam!
Elaine Crocker, a Helpline Advisor from ASI, spoke about this invaluable service on what is usually the first port of call for families after a diagnosis. She described the service as a lifeline to families at such a difficult time for them, and that Terry Murray is also one of the first friendly voices you hear on calling ASI. Georgina Mahaci is one of their very prized home support team and it was lovely to hear about her role in ASI throughout the afternoon.
After lunch and speeches, it was raffle time! Thank you to Kate Burke who hand-crafted the most stunning elephant figurines, which went as spot prizes for each table. They added to the table décor and will serve as a memory of the day to those who won them.
We have been incredibly lucky over the years with the calibre of prizes we receive, and this year was no exception. Jo Harpur Jewellery deserves a special mention this year however, having donated her stunning earrings as the main prize for each table. The ASI holds a very special place in Jo's heart for the saddest of reasons, and we wish her well at this time. The winning ladies were delighted with their prizes!
Lettie McCarthy helped choose our Best Dressed Lady and was very happy to announce the winner as the very elegant Edel Gargan, who wore a stunning white and pale blue jumpsuit! She was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Fleurtatious, a pair of gorgeous Jo Harpur earrings, and a bottle of prosecco, courtesy of SuperValu Killester. We must mention that the standard of elegance and fashion in the room was very high as always!
As lunch wrapped up, it was time for the after-party in The Salmo Social! Emma from Emma Slowe Entertainment got everyone in party mode and up dancing with her fab DJ skills. The craic was mighty, and the arrival of some other club members added to the electric atmosphere. Karaoke was great fun and may have left some guests mortified on Sunday morning with some video clips appearing on social media!
As always during the disco, we had our evening raffle. Again, so generously supported by local businesses and club members, and so very much appreciated. This year, having received a few prizes with a value too high to include in a general raffle, we opted for an 'Extra Special' raffle as a bonus to the day. The prizes and winners are as follows:
Meal for 6, cooked in your own home by the very talented chef Peter Brennan of The Added Ingredient, donated by Peter Brennan
Winner: Niamh Corrigan
Signed Leinster Jersey donated by Leah O’Neill, Ladies Captain
Winner: Ruth Shanu
Soft Cell Tickets with Eddie Rockets voucher donated by IGate
Winner: Ann Finlay
€100 One4All voucher donated by Centra Stepaside.
Winner: Órla Kirby
All in all, it was a fabulous day! Perhaps the best yet? These events don't just happen on their own. There's a huge amount of hard work and effort that goes into them both beforehand and on the day itself.
Gathering prizes & sponsorship is not an easy task, so a big thanks goes to Lisa McGovern and Yolanda Johnson who sorted that job out! Thanks also to Paul Finlay for taking fabulous photos on the day, and Emma Slowe for donating her time as DJ for the evening entertainment.
Thank you to The Salmo Social and their staff for their assistance with the day.
Most importantly, thank you to the Ladies Committee of Gill Nealon, Sue Treacy, Johanna Davy, Tara Finlay and Kate Burke, who yet again put on a fantastic event after months of behind-the-scenes work.
We have included a full list of our sponsors in this post, all of whom are greatly appreciated. Without them we couldn't provide a day like it. Without their continued generosity we could not enjoy that fabulous prosecco and wine, those gorgeous goody bags, and the many wonderful prizes. We would ask that you support them wherever you can, follow them on social media, tag them, support & promote their services, and shop with them when you can.
Some of our sponsors deserve a special mention due to their generous and unfailing support year after year!
Thank you to:
Jo Harpur, from Jo Harpur Jewellery
Barry Packaging, Tralee
The Added Ingredient
A special thank you also to Nikki, Elaine, Georgina and Terry from ASI for joining us on the day and leaving us so much wiser about the support available to the many families struggling with an Alzheimers or dementia diagnosis. They have left us a supply of literature for anyone in our club community who might need their support. Their details are as follows:
Alzheimers Society of Ireland
Free National Helpline
188 341 341
And finally, thank you to the ladies of De LaSalle Palmerston FC and their guests for another fabulous charity lunch! See you next year!
You can view Paul Finlay's gallery of pictures from the day here.