Mick Kavanagh, Lisa Mullins, Marie Byrne and Stephen Hogan at the launch of the Blue Light Ball PICTURE: PAT MOORE
The Blue Light Ball, which takes place in Hotel Kilkenny in March, is this year celebrating its tenth anniversary.
The eagerly-anticipated night begins with a very special appearance by the Band of An Garda Siochana, which normally only plays for official events such as sporting internationals or visiting Heads of State.
Following the Garda band, there is a four-course meal and a chance to win one of around 100 spot prizes. This will be followed by a live band — The Secrets will perform for the first time at the Blue Light Ball. The band is then followed by a live DJ who plays a great set with something to suit everyone until the early hours.
Distinguished guests on the night will include the Assistant Garda Commissioner, as well as the Mayor of Kilkenny Michael Doyle.
The popular annual ball began in 2008, when the organisers raised funds for the Special Care Baby Unit in St Luke’s Hospital.
In recent years, the ball has raised money for causes including the hospital’s paediatric ward, the Carlow/Kilkenny Home Care Team, Inistioge Puppy Rescue, the Carlow/Kilkenny Autism Advocacy Network, and Cois Nore Cancer Services, to name but a few.
The beneficiaries this year are The Nore Dragon Paddlers, a water loving group made up of cancer survivors who are trying to raise funds for equipment and the upkeep of their boat. The event will also raise funds for Protecting Pound Dogs, a voluntary group who take dogs from the pound and re-home them after the dogs are checked and treated by a local vet.
Last, but certainly not least, is Shona Connolly, who is dealing with the long term effects of Lyme Disease. The ball will try to raise funds to help both Shona and her parents with the costs of treatment and travel.
The Blue Light Ball committee is made up of Mick Kavanagh, advanced paramedic with the National Ambulance Service in Kilkenny; Kilkenny Gardaí Stephen Hogan and Lisa Mullins; Eileen Lanigan from Kilkenny Fire and Rescue Service; and Maria Byrne and Maureen O’Sullivan, specialist nurses in the Special Care Baby Unit in St Luke’s.
The 2018 Blue Light Ball takes place on Saturday March 24 in Hotel Kilkenny. Tickets are priced at a very reasonable €50 per person.
The ball is a black tie event but a light-hearted night out, which has built up a great following with a large amount of people who attend again and again. Tickets for the night can be pre-booked by contacting the Blue Light Ball on facebook, or contact Mick Kavanagh on 087-2922417.