Hot on the heels of running the Shannon Airport Runway 5K (link here) we attended the 4th annual Maureen Lavery Pink Angel Ball.
The ball is in it's 4th year and I think I can speak for all those involved when I say that no one expected it to be as big a success as it had been.
I thought it only right to ask for my sisters input here as Maureen was her best friend. Orla was also one of the main event organisers throughout the years although she did take a step back last year and more so this year.
I asked Orla to write something on the background of the ball and to give me some information on the charities that have benefited from the ball. Here is what she wrote:
"A group of friends got together to run an event called the Pink Angel Ball to remember the wonderful Maureen Lavery. Maureen Lavery from Ennis passed away from cancer at the age of 27 in January 2012. Maureen bravely battled cancer for 13 months before she passed away. At all stages of her illness she carried herself with a strength and dignity of character. She never let her illness get on top of her and always tried to look out for how it was affecting everyone else rather than how it was affecting herself. Her strength knew no bounds.
Maureen was very spiritual and had a strong belief in angels. While she was sick she felt that there was a Pink Angel watching over her and guiding her. We hoped that by running the Pink Angel Ball we can honour her memory and also support the valuable work of our local cancer support services. We started the Ball as a way of remembering our friend but as the 4th Pink Angel Ball has just finished we can see that it grew into so much more. It was a way for anyone who has been touched by cancer to remember their loved ones and help raise funds for our local cancer support charities who do amazing untold work.
Maureen was a beautiful glamorous fun loving person and that is why we chose to remember her by running a glamorous event in her memory. It is like a double edged sword for us all though as it is a fabulous event and it raises great funds but then it is also the type of event we would love to have shared with Maureen. But we know that she is with us at the ball every year in spirit. It's about 3 and a half years on since her death now and it still doesn't get any easier but the task of organising the Ball helps to distract us for much of the year as the planning usually starts in January and we run numerous smaller events in the lead up to the main ball such as, a table quiz, a tea party, a coffee morning, bake sales, a soccer match, flag days, a pitch and putt event and many more.
This years 4th Pink Angel Ball was held in the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon. The event was in aid of the vital cancer support services in our area provided by Cahercalla Hospice and Clare Cancer Centre, Slainte an Chlair in Kilnamona. Since its inception the Pink Angel Fundraisers have raised approximately €43,000."
Thank you so much Orla for your input. It's clear to see why the ball means so much and why everyone has put in so much hard work and effort. Well done to all involved.
The Night Itself
My husband and I don't get out much, oh the joys of parenthood, so knowing that the ball was approaching was a great excuse for a night out. We couldn't make it last year as our son was only a week old and I was in bits, following his birth (that's another story that's way way to long and scary to tell!).
We got ourselves ready, left our beautiful man in the hands of his grandparents in Newmarket on Fergus and headed to meet the bus in The Temple Gate Hitel in Ennis. The bus was €10 return per person, bargain!!! There was a gang of us, including my sister Orla and her fiancé Darren.
We arrived at The Falls Hotel, in Ennistymon, to a champagne reception. The guests mingled among the gardens, overlooking the falls. Shortly after arriving The Harley Boys made a grand entrance and entertained the crowd. This was followed by the release of balloons to remember those who have left this world.
The meal was a buffet style and was delicious. We had the choice of Turkey and ham and fish pie, including lots of salads and side dishes. Dessert was a medlay of strawberry cheesecake, strawberry meringue and strawberry ice cream (all pink, are you noticing the trend?!!!). Orla and I shared ours because the portions were huge!
We danced the night away to Cold Feet. We don't get out too much and we really enjoyed ourselves. As well as having a great night, we supported such worthy charities.
For us it was a great night and for the benefit of charities and yes for me, having known Maureen it was bittersweet but I can't imagine how her friends and family felt. I'm sure that it's a hugely positive but emotional night and I know that they, and Maureen too, are delighted with the amazing support that they receive each year.
It goes without saying that everyone involved deserves a special mention because planning, orgnising and running an event of this size is no easy task. The task, of organising the ball this year, fell into the very capable hands of Michelle Barrett. Michelle worked so hard to bring the night together and she did a fantastic job. Well done Michelle, you should be very proud!
(Michelle with Maureen's mother Mairead)
Finally to the Lavery family as much as it breaks my heart to think of your beautiful daughter, sister, aunt and cousin, I know that she is so proud of you all and to see how much, in the last 3 1/2 years, you have all grown and done, she would be so proud. The fact that you wouldn't let her death be in vain is enough said. I can only speak for myself, but I'm sure others will agree, that she will never ever be forgotten and I have no doubt that you will not allow that either.
Until the next time, always remember to be:
Dee-Termined To Glam & Glow