Little did we realise that when Anne-Marie O’Malley phoned us about her birthday party in March 2006, the actual impact it would have. Anne-Marie asked her guests to make a donation to our charity instead of bringing presents, this money was the first donation for The Good Life Orphanage and was used as the deposit for the two-acre site which we bought in October 2006.

Anne-Marie was the brainchild again behind our 1st Good Life Orphanage Charity Ball on the 12th January 2008 at the Lancashire County Cricket Club. Along with Catherine O’Gara, Karen Kilroe & Mike Flynn, the fund raising committee for our charity has been established with Anne-Marie the Chairperson! This committee has worked endlessly over the past seven months organising the Charity Ball. They chose an excellent venue, a great band from Ireland, Goodfellows, Joe Casserley as MC & with their inexhaustible energy brought 280 people together for a great night. How they managed to get so many different things donated to the night, we will never know!

We were nervous on the night & with the Manchester United match changed to a 5.15pm kick-off we feared the worst, people getting stuck in traffic, no parking spaces and The Roving Mike aka Mike Flynn with a less than perfect wireless microphone, to name just a few of our worries. Then a good omen United beat Newcastle 6-0 with Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick, things were looking up! The only complaint was one irate Liverpool supporter surrounded by 65,000 United fans on the way in (we all have our crosses to bear Eliot)!!

The stage was set & boy did it go like a dream! Mike Flynn who was standing in for Joe our MC until 9.00pm did a great job! Mary Grady’s Dance Theatre kicked off the whole proceedings, the girls were magnificent. The room, table decorations, Charity Brochure & background music (provided by Kevin & Danny) were splendid. Father Jim Clarke said grace & we all tucked into a three course meal with an excellent cheese board to finish. The meal and service by the staff at the L.C.C.C. was first class. Mike took control of the Heads & Tails competition with Mick Mack winning a romantic break in a Cheshire Hotel. Grace O’Malley, Roisin O’Gara & Mary Anne Kilroe along with eight of their friends sold hundreds of raffle tickets with all the prizes being donated from business contacts & friends of our committee members. Well Done Girls we don’t know how you sold every raffle ticket (it may have something to do with you all looking so glamorous)!

A short introduction by myself & a six minute DVD showing exactly what we are doing in Kikambala and then it was the man himself, Joe Casserley took centre stage, auctioning 19 impressive prizes all donated by friends & families of the committee members again! We cannot express in words our gratitude to each person who donated the prizes and the people then who generously bid excessive amounts for them. Karen, as you predicted The Spice Girls Tickets went for a fortune. We were speechless when we saw the way in which people were supporting the project. The auction was carried out meticulously with Joe flying through the bidding & again our committee members getting everything signed & approved immediately.

10.30pm and we are ready to Rock & Roll, Ronan & the lads started playing and the dancefloor filled, it never emptied all night. There were a few sore necks the next day from 40+ year olds head banging! Elvis O’Gara even got up to do a few songs and his groupies nearly pulled him off the stage. The last half hour was a second appearance from Kevin & Danny, the dancing DJ’s who kept the place rocking.
A great night for everyone and a massive thanks from Kevin & myself for making our job so much easier in Kikambala.
Asante Sana & God Bless everyone involved!
P.S. As requested by Catherine, we have a rake of Saw Doctors CDs for the Disco next year so we will be jiving all night!!!!
Go to Bernie O’Briens page for some great photos of the night.

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