Tuesday 23 January 2018

Stars set out their stalls in charity drive

Allison Bray

MORE than €80,000 was raised during the first-ever celebrity clean-out fundraising drive for charity last night.

Over 5,000 bargain hunters flocked to the RDS in Dublin yesterday where socialite and charity campaigner Norma Smurfit hosted her inaugural 'Spring Clean for Charity Sale'.

Celebrities, including 'The Apprentice' star and self-made millionaire Bill Cullen, actress Victoria Smurfit, and TV presenters Lorraine Keane and Lisa Fitzpatrick, cleaned out their garages, bookcases and wardrobes for the cause.

They also manned the stalls as they flogged their clothes, games, trinkets, books and other personal items.

Proceeds from the sale will be equally divided between the St Vincent de Paul Society and Ms Smurfit's charity, The Irish Famine Commemoration Fund, which supports disadvantaged youths and the homeless.

Mr Cullen, the founder of Ireland's first Renault dealership, donated a 2002 Land Rover Freelander SUV with just 50,000 miles on it to a lucky winner, who picked it up in a raffle for just €50.

His partner Jackie Lavin donated a green designer dress she wore to meet former US President Bill Clinton, among other personal items.

Ms Smurfit, who donated a lot of her own books, designer clothes and accessories, said the event was a great success and she hoped to do it again next year.


"People were queuing for two-and-a-half hours and there were lots of goodies to buy," she said.

Despite the massive crowds that snaked through the appropriately named Serpentine Hall, there was no pushing and shoving and clamouring for bargains, a spokeswoman added.

"We were just overwhelmed with the support. There was great community spirit and people who queued for two hours to get in weren't complaining," she said.

Irish Independent

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