Rose of Tralee visits Ballinasloe for charity gala evening

The Roses of Tralee lining the stairs in the lobby of the Carlton Shearwater Hotel  on Wednesday.

The Roses of Tralee lining the stairs in the lobby of the Carlton Shearwater Hotel on Wednesday.

Last Wednesday August 19, the Carlton Shearwater Hotel was honored to be able to host the 50 contestants of the Rose of Tralee, who began their day with a Viking boat trip on the Shannon and later attended a gala charity evening in the hotel.

The event was held in aid of the Stargazer Lily Foundation, a local foundation that was established in autumn 2008 to raise funds and support for Cancer Research Ireland, Galway Hospice, and Portiuncula Hospital Patient Comfort Fund.

The foundation has had great success to date, raising over €20,000 for the three charities from its events which include a Halloween Coffee Morning, a 4 by 4 Challenge, and the Ballinasloe 10k run/walk.

After meeting the local winners of the Design a Rose for a Rose colouring competition, the Roses retired briefly to prepare for the evenings festivities.

The Rose of Tralee evening included a wine reception with introductions to the Roses, and a delicious four course gala meal with music by Mike Denver, followed by popular radio DJ Fergal Darcy, all of which helped to make it a night to remember.

Speaking at the event, Ballinasloe mayor Johnny Walsh said, “It is a great privilege for the community of Ballinasloe to welcome contestants of the Rose of Tralee on the 50th anniversary of the event. I am also delighted with the work the Stargazer Lily Foundation has done to date. Each of its events has not only helped to raise money for the charities but also helped bring the community of Ballinasloe together.”

Also in attendance was chairman of the Carlton Hotel Group, Michael Kearney, who added; “The Rose of Tralee International Festival is such an iconic event in Ireland and we are very proud to be sponsoring the 2009 festival.”

The girls concluded their stay at the Carlton Shearwater Hotel with a relaxing morning in the Shearwater C Spa, and were all too soon back on their bus and on their way to meet their escorts in the Carlton Castletroy Hotel in Limerick.

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