Cottage Autism Network Ball in The Talbot Hotel, Wexford
The Cottage Autism Ball attended by 280 people, was a huge success which raised over €17,000 for the charity.
The event was graced by the RTE newsreader Eileen Dunne as MC who welcomed everyone and introduced patron and Wexford hurling captain Matthew O'Hanlon and the keynote speaker and Wexford hurling manager Davey Fitzgerald who engaged in a question and answer session.
Each of the 30 tables featured the name of a famous person with autism, including Anthony Hopkins, Temple Grandin and Lionel Messi, while a tree was adorned with stars bearing the names of every child who has been a member of Cottage Autism Network Wexford, which parents were allowed to take home.
Diners lucky enough to find a ticket under their plate won a prize while those who gave contributions in donation envelopes were entered into a draw for up to 70 prizes donated by local businesses. A new video, was shown during the evening, featuring Wexford children with autism lámh signing to the song 'This is Me' sung by Hayley Crosbie, a contestant in Wexford's Got Talent 2018. The video has enjoyed more than 60,000 views since it was posted on Facebook.
There was welcome for an announcement by Matthew O'Hanlon that the GAA is to host camps for children with autism in Wexford during the summer. Following a prosecco drinks reception and a four-course meal, there was dancing to the Bottle Brothers and everyone socialised until the early hours. 'It was a super night. The atmosphere was very relaxed and enjoyable' said CAN chairman Servaas Dodebier.
The ball was attended by members of CAN and local SNA's, teachers and other supporters of the voluntary organisation which represents and supports approximately 110 families in County Wexford.