Forget the recession for one superb night

On Friday April 3 people will be treated to a truly superb concert which will take place in the Radisson SAS Hotel in Athlone. For one night only people have the opportunity to forget all the bad news that seems to be surrounding us and enjoy a fantastic line-up of artists.

The night has been organised by the Westmeath Friends of Simon, in conjunction with the Radisson SAS, and is an excellent opportunity for people to show support for those who are experiencing homelessness, as all proceeds from the night will go to aid the work of the Midlands Simon Community.

This superb concert will begin at 8.30pm and will be fully seated in cabaret style, which will allow all those lucky enough to be there to either dance away the recession blues or to simply relax and enjoy the show from their table. Tickets for this fantastic night are only €15.

The list of those who are travelling from near and far to perform on the night confirms the quality of entertainment people can look forward to: Mystery Train (from soul to rock`n`roll ); Mary Lee Jones (the voice of Shirley Bassey and winner of TG4 Search for a Christmas No 1 ); Thukolo (Kilkenny’s inspirational 20-piece gospel choir ); and Ciaran Houlihan (winner of all-Ireland Elvis 2008 ); Tommy Lee Jones (the sensational Tom Jones tribute ).

There will also be some very special guests including the singer/ songwriter Colin Fahy and Athlone’s Angie Bannon, special guest MC for the night is Shannonside Radio’s finest, Pete Casey.

Kay Rigney, chairperson Westmeath Friends of Simon, said “This will be one of the best nights of entertainment to come to Athlone for a long time. It gives people an opportunity to see some truly great performers in an excellent location, and at the same time know they are helping Midlands Simon Community to support those in our community who need it most.”

Midlands Simon Community supports people who are either at risk of, or who are experiencing homelessness across the counties of Westmeath, Longford, Laois, and Offaly. Since September 2005 Midlands Simon Community has worked with over 500 people, including over 170 children. As well as supporting people to progress out of homelessness, Midlands Simon also works closely with all their service users to help them overcome the many other challenges that can be faced by those experiencing homelessness such as loneliness, isolation, poverty and health and welfare issues. Last year saw a significant increase in the numbers of people requiring support from Midlands Simon with over 100 new cases having been referred to their services. The outlook for 2009 is no less worrying.

Cormac Lally, development officer, Midlands Simon Community said, “We’re facing into a very challenging time for us all, but it is especially difficult for those who have no home. To enable Midlands Simon Community to continue to provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable in our community, we are, and will continue to be, dependent on the support of the wider community.

“The level of support we have received from all involved in what will surely be a fantastic night has been remarkable and I would like to pay a special thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make the concert happen, especially Ollie Berry from Mystery Train who came to us with the idea, Irene Keenan from the Radisson and to Kay Rigney and all in Westmeath Friends of Simon for all their ongoing support.”

Tickets for this superb night are on sale now from Music World in Athlone, from the Simon Shop (Sean Costello St ) in Athlone, or by phoning (087 ) 9925083. At only €15 it also represents truly amazing value for money.

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