On Friday 7th March, Moneyrea Primary School PTA hosted its Gala Ball in the palatial surroundings of the La Mon Hotel and Country Club.
The New York themed event was the PTA’s major fundraiser for the year and when all of the costs were met, the event raised a fantastic total of £4700. This money will go towards the purchase of additional iPads for use throughout the school.
The evening commenced at 6.45pm in the Ballygowan Suite, where guests were photographed as they arrived in front of an amazing vintage car (courtesy of David Andrews). They then proceeded along the red carpet, through the strobelighting to a cocktail reception in the foyer and more photographs; by Ian Pedlow Photography.
As guests milled around, waiting for friends to arrive, they were entertained by the ‘Rhythm and Reeds Quartet’, playing a carefully chosen selection of New York/US music and up-and-coming local magician, Joel Mawhinney, who mingled with guests stretching the bounds of their credulity.
Guests were then welcomed by Moneyrea Principal, Mr. Roy Greer, who led an American Style, True or False ice breaker, with the winner scooping a prize of £100. With the evening off to a flying start, dinner was served and our guests were not disappointed. La Mon’s chef had come up with a New York themed menu including; New England Chowder, Sticky New York Grilled Chicken, tobacco onions, sweet potato mash and chargrilled vegetables, topped off by an Assiette of Star Spangled Desserts. A truly amazing fayre!
As coffee was being served the top five ballot prizes were drawn, including a flat screen television, an overnight stay at La Mon Hotel and study desk, courtesy of Desk Warehouse. In total over 100 ballot prizes were up for grabs. In addition, Mr. Bill Pye conducted our auction which included the services of a handyman/plumber for a day, a signed Ulster Rugby ball,which went for £160, and a three-month voucher for our After School Club.
With dinner service over and everyone in relaxed mood, event coordinator, Karen Hamilton, welcomed our live band, 'No Direction' to the stage, when she was seemingly interrupted! The Moneyrea staff, parents and friends combining to perform a Flashmob version of the classic Hairspray song, 'You Can't Stop The Beat' and it's fair to say their surprise rendition went down a treat with the unsuspecting audience. Cue the band, which played an eclectic set including, classics from Dylan, Van Morrison, Tom Petty and a host of other artists. They were truly awesome! With the party in full swing, and folk nipping in and out to the photo booth (Quickphotoboothni), DJ Kyle Graham kept the dance floor bopping and heaving for the rest of the night, concluding with Sinatra's classic, 'New York, New York'. A fitting end to a great night's entertainment, courtesy of Moneyrea Primary School PTA and event supremo, Mrs Karen Hamilton.
Thank you to everyone who helped out behind the scenes, provided sponsorship or prizes, or bought tickets. Check out the photos on our school website at www.moneyreaprimary.co.uk or our Facebook page.