Parents & Guardians' Charity Lunch 2020
On 7 February 2020, the PTA welcomed all parents and guardians to The St Andrew's College PTA Charity Lunch at a newly-furbished Shelbourne Hotel Ballroom. Our aim was to enjoy ourselves in the company of friends, colleagues and fellow parents and to raise much needed funds for our panel of charities; ACTS, Children in Hospital Ireland, The Down Syndrome Centre and the Irish Wheelchair Association Sport.
For the first time this year we welcomed fathers and male guardians, a tradition we hope will continue. We started off with a Prosecco reception giving everyone the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, admire the sartorial elegance and browse the silent auction items. This was followed by a delicious meal catering to everyone's dietary needs. The Shelbourne definitely outdid their culinary skills this year, as all who attended commented on it being the one of the best meals they had consumed at the Charity Lunch. This year, for the first time, we catered for, and pre-tasted, a vegan option, which we were assured, by all who ordered it, was not only filling and substantial but delicious
We had a spot hamper filled with goodies from one of our sponsors, won by one lucky person at table 17, plus our usual table prizes kindly donated by local businesses in the South Co Dublin Area and beyond. We also were treated to a video produced by our TY students about our Panel of Charities and featuring Ray Darcy. In a break with tradition we also all enjoyed musical entertainment after teas and coffees had been served.
Our raffle was a great success, with 30 prizes drawn on the day. Many people kindly bid on our silent auction items which included a rugby shirt signed by Jordan Larmour and a weekend at Carton House.
Nothing as marvellous as this lunch production could be possible without a lot of dedicated hard work. The planning for this lunch started last March (2019) and, since then, an incredible team headed by Krysia Lynch put together an amazing event. The team included Gail Beatty, Fleur Campbell, Anne Deacon, Rachel Graham Pat Kiersey, HeeJung Lee, Adriana McSharry, Ken Miller, Nicky Phelan, Hilary Rabbette, John Bateson, Susan Rogers, Niamh Wall and Ros Willoughby.
A big thank you to all our sponsors, to all who donated silent auction, raffle and table prizes and to all who sourced and donated items for our lovely goodie bags. Thank you to our students, present and past, who helped with raffle ticket sales, video production and the silent auction. Thank you to the teachers both on and off the PTA who helped with raffle ticket sales and logistics. Thank you to the amazing support staff in the school office and the accounts department.
Particular thanks to our Headmistress Joan Kirby and to the Junior School Principal Sarah McCormack for facilitating and supporting this event and also to Deputy Principal Rob Micallef for offering to help us with the video.
In her speech welcoming everyone to the event PTA Chair Krysia Lynch reminded us:
"Giving knocks at the doors of generosity and kindness within us. It allows our hearts to be opened a little more and so feel for those around us a little more. In so doing we become more connected to the people we share our lived space with and so our community grows stronger. We realise that the challenges faced by others in our community are our challenges too. With that realisation comes a desire to help and to make a difference. Today we are offering an invitation for everyone here to make a difference and to help someone whose life is perhaps more challenging than their own. Our Panel of Charities today was selected because each and every one of them has a link with the St Andrew’s College Community.
Being true to my scientific background I feel compelled to let you know that the research emphatically shows us that: Giving makes us happy, giving is good for our health (even those who are chronically sick), giving promotes cooperation and social connection, giving evokes gratitude and finally giving is contagious making our communities safer and happier places for all.
I am going to end my speech today by saying that whilst I sincerely hope that this will not be Mrs Kirby’s last Charity Lunch, it will be her last Charity Lunch as Headmistress of St Andrew’s College, and I think I speak for all of us when I say news of her upcoming retirement was bittersweet, because whilst we hope she has a wonderful retirement we will all miss her sincerity, her steadfastness, her attention to detail, her open door policy to parents and most of all, the simplest of things one human being can offer to another; her kindness. I am not going to embarrass her further, we’ll save that for later in the year!
Finally, last but not least, I would like to thank you, all our guests, for making this the occasion it is. I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating friendship, community camaraderie inclusivity and giving to our four fabulous charities."
Please click here for some more photographs of the event.