Ballycotton RNLI takes on the Wild West to raise €18,496 in night of country fun
If you were in Ballycotton last Friday night you might be forgiven for thinking you had stepped back in time or stepped into the wrong saloon!
The Blackbird Bar was transformed into a scene straight out of Tombstone Arizona, complete with straw bales, gingham tablecloths, ‘wanted’ posters of local ‘outlaws’ and bursting with a cowboys and cowgirls ready to muster up and raise vital funds for Ballycotton RNLI.
The night was a huge success. Thanks to the generosity of the 140 guests on the night, and the support of local business and individuals, the event raised a total of €9,248 through ticket sales, donations and a raffle. As a huge bonus Green Rebel pledged to match-fund the figure raised on the night, doubling the total money raised to a phenomenal €18,496.00. And due to the generosity of local businesses who sponsored every aspect of the event, 100% of funds raised will go directly to supporting Ballycotton RNLI.
On arrival folks were welcomed by Sheriff Áine Flynn and her trusty sidekick Síle Scanlon (dressed as a horse!), who both took a night off from volunteering as crew members on the lifeboat to greet Ballycotton bandits as they arrived. Once all pistols had been accounted for, they were offered a complimentary drink, choosing between a Kentucky Mule (sponsored by Matson’s Wine Store) or beer (courtesy of Heineken), to quench their thirst. Country music filled the air along with the sweet smell of succulent BBQ pig roasting on a spit. The Spitting Pig company cooked up a feast with roasted pig, chicken & vegetarian dishes with a mouth-watering selection of salads that had everyone coming back for more - all generously sponsored by VTSL Ireland.
Once everyone was fed and watered it didn’t take much for The Ryan Phoenix band (sponsored by The Blackbird), to quickly get the crowd on the dance floor. Pumping out a selection of rousing country tunes, a sea of Stetsons, check shirts and denim danced the night away and when the band finished playing DJ Mossie Tattan made sure to keep the fun and dancing going till closing.
Fundraising committee member Fiona Clark said “We pulled this event together in a very short time, but once the theme was agreed it didn’t take long for people to get in the spirit of it, with one local farmer supplying us with straw bales at the last minute. We are very lucky to have such great supporters and patrons of the Ballycotton RNLI, who year after year give so generously to help this crucial service that is run solely on donations. We want to give special thanks to our generous sponsors including The Blackbird Bar, VTSL Ireland, MTA1, Matson’s Wine Store and of course Green Rebel. And there are many more who supported with raffle prizes and donations - it really does take a village, and it was wonderful to see everyone put so much effort into dressing up and having a fun time for a great cause. On the strength of the night, we hope to go bigger again next year. So, if you missed out you have a whole year to plan your costume!”
The RNLI is a registered charity supported solely by donations and fundraising. It costs approximately €250,000 per year to keep the station and lifeboat operational, €1,667 to train one volunteer crew member and €1,786 to kit them out. Funds raised at the event will ensure that the crew has the necessary equipment and training to continue to keep our coastline safe.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
Learn more about the RNLI
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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.