Hotel Minella in Clonmel recently played host to an amazing dance extravaganza in aid of the Barretstown charity. Twenty dancers, along with some very special guests, danced their hearts out and in doing so raised an astounding €16,000 for a very worthwhile charity.
The twenty dancers included ten amateurs who had little or no experience and ten more experienced mentors who guided them for the last four months. All the pain of sore toes and cracked heels was more than made up for by the sound of rapturous applause and standing ovations from a sell-out crowd.
The ten newbies were Carmel Fitzimons, Gavin Berry, Leah Morrissey, David O’Brien, Catriona Fennessey, Mossie Casey, Damien Byrne, Alma Maher, Karen Moore and Annette Hickey.
Their mentors were John Ryan, Claire O’Keefe, Pat Casey, Lisa Corcoran, David O’Gorman, Ruth Quinn, Joan Leahy, Dan Casey, Michael McGuane and Donie O’Regan. The crowd reacted magnificently to them as did judges Roy Galvin, Deirdre Buckley and Yvonne Deaton.
The dancing was broken up by a riotous performance by Des Dillon and his wonderful creation Peig, as well as some beautiful singing by Derek Ryan. The Pearly Whites, who played to a full dance floor, finished off the night. Liam Molumby was the MC extraordinaire.
As well as the dancers a lot of people put a lot of effort into the event and the organising committee thanked them for their time.
Barretstown rebuilds the lives of children affected by childhood cancer and their families. The children, aged from 7 to 17, come from Ireland and across Europe to take part in activities such as canoeing, high ropes, drama and arts and crafts. Through their achievements they regain confidence and self-esteem and their own inner strength. Barretstown provides a unique Therapeutic Recreation programme through a fun, activity-based process of challenge, success, reflection and discovery – backed by the medical world - which helps children affected by serious illness regain their confidence and self-esteem, and which has become internationally recognised as having a profound and positive impact on their lives.