REPRESENTATIVES of the charities chosen as the beneficiaries of the 2012 Limerick Press Ball have expressed their gratitude and delight at being nominated.
The event, which turns 60 this year, was officially launched by Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan TD in Bobby Byrne’s pub.
The Labour TD said she was “delighted” to be asked to launch the event, which she said was a “really positive occasion”.
“I grew up in a journalist’s household and remember my parents going to the Press Balls,” she explained.
“I saw it as a glamorous occasion and having been to the last couple of balls I can say that it is a really good occasion,” she added.
The Minister of State went on to say that the organising committee for the 2012 Press Ball “could not have picked two better beneficiaries” by supporting the St Vincent de Paul in the Mid-West and the Limerick Marine Search and Rescue service.
“They both do a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances for families and I would encourage everyone who can to buy a ticket,” she added.
The event, traditionally a highlight on the city’s social calendar, will take place in the Carlton Castletroy Park Hotel on the evening of Friday, September 28.
More than 250 personalities from the region’s television, radio and print media will attend the ball, first held in 1952 as an opportunity for journalists to meet on a special social occasion.
Although it faded in the 1970s, it was revived in the 1990s, and the past three Press Balls alone have succeeded in raising over €100,000 for local charities.
Michael Murphy, regional president St Vincent de Paul, said the society were “delighted to be recipients”.
“A number of years ago we obtained funds from the Press Ball and we were delighted to have them because we are always in need of additional funds. The call on us these days, we find, is increasing all the time,” he explained.
“Normally at this time of year things would be reasonable quiet in the society, just before the back to school, but we have found in the last two years, with increased utility bills and so on, we are still working throughout the summer with families who are in need.
“So certainly any funds we can get our hands on, particularly in these times, are very much appreciated and we are delighted with the decision of the press to nominate us as one of their charities for the year,” he added.
Tony Cusack, dive supervisor with Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, echoed the sentiment.
“First of all I have to say that the Press Ball is a big success and for us to be involved, especially with the St Vincent de Paul, a high profile group, is a fantastic honour for us,” said Mr Cusack.
Ron Kirwan, chairman of the Press Ball committee, said the event would mark other organisations in the region who are celebrating anniversaries this year, such as the ESB, RTE and UL, as well as raising money for the nominated charities.
To book tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 086-2265696.