Thursday 22 February 2018

Charity cracks €100,000 target with egg auction

Laura Butler

Laura Butler

MORE than €100,000 was raised for charity thanks to the sale of 30 decorated Easter eggs by some of Ireland's leading artists and personalities.

The Big Egg Hunt Gala auction for Jack & Jill Foundation took place on Saturday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin and saw a host of well-known faces turn out to start bidding for a good cause.

L'Ecrivain restaurant owner Derry Clarke joined Louise Kennedy, Graham Knuttel, Guggi, Rasher and Lainey Keogh, to help design one of the perspex offerings up for sale on the night.

His two-and-a-half foot painted egg was decorated in tribute to his late son, Andrew, who died last December.

It resembled a racing helmet, emblazoned with an Irish flag and the 16-year-old's name at the bottom.

The family bought the egg for €3,200 and are hoping to display it at their Dublin restaurant, Mr Clarke told the Irish Independent last night.

"I can't take much credit for it actually. I had a different idea for the egg initially, but then when Andrew passed away we decided to change it.

"Andrew was involved in Murray Motorsports racing team, so they designed it for me," the chef said. Mr Clarke also purchased a design by celebrity photographer Barry McCall.

"It was a great night and a very unique idea for such a worthy cause," he said.

John Rocha, who designed a crystal-covered egg for the occasion, attended with his family, while Yvonne Keating and Cecelia Ahern also turned out to show their support.

Jonathan Irwin, CEO of the Jack & Jill Foundation, said that he was delighted with the night's result.

"It was terrific, we were expecting to make €100,000 and we made that, so we hit our target.

"People had never seen an auction like this before – it was almost closer to cabaret than an auction. It was a very spirited evening, we're extremely pleased," he said.

Money raised will help support home nursing care hours for the 300 children with severe developmental delay as a result of brain damage, currently under the wing of Jack & Jill nurses around the country.

All eyes are now on the remaining 66 pieces of art which are on display in the CHQ building in Dublin's IFSC.

Online bidding on the remaining eggs continues until March 28.

For more information go to www.thebigegghunt.ie.

Irish Independent

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