Belfast, Northern Ireland, is to play host to a red carpet gala like never before. The White Sapphire Ball, in aid of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, will be the highlight of the Irish Social Calendar. The glittering event takes place on 3 October in Belfast’s Europa Hotel.

Not only will Riverdance be headlining, with a spine-tingling performance of extracts from their smash-hit show, there will also be a ‘Money Can’t Buy’ Grand Auction featuring lots donated by a host of celebrities, including Elton John, Brian May, Madonna, Rafael Nadal, Ireland Rugby, Rory McIlroy and Michael Deane.

Guests already scheduled to attend the White Sapphire Ball include Northern Ireland industry’s high fliers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, artists, celebrities and supporters of the Children’s Hospice.

Currently there are 750 children with life-limiting illnesses in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice looks after every child’s nursing, medical, social, spiritual and emotional needs with added support for the family continuing into bereavement. Services are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year and there is no charge. It costs approximately £2 million to keep the Hospice’s services going and with limited government funding they are totally reliant on corporate and public support to maintain its vital services.

Music legend Sir Elton John has donated two tickets to his must-see Dublin concert on October 30. The sought after tickets are part of a luxury VIP weekend package that includes a weekend break at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, County Wicklow and dinner at the celebrity hotel’s acclaimed Gordon Ramsey restaurant. The successful bidder will head off on the Friday night to Dublin’s O2 Arena to attend Sir Elton’s sell-out live Red Piano show before setting off to the foothills of the majestic Sugar Loaf Mountain in Co Wicklow to the opulent Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where internationally-famed chef and TV celebrity Gordon Ramsey has chosen to plant his first restaurant in Ireland.

Set amidst one of the most scenic and historic estates in Ireland, The Ritz-Carlton showcases Palladium style architecture and also hosts a 30, 000 luxury ESPA spa and two championship calibre golf courses. Sir Elton John’s Red Piano show debuted to critical acclaim in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in 2004 and was subsequently extended worldwide due to an overwhelming demand finally closing in Las Vegas earlier this year, after the ‘candle in the wind’ singer played 243 performances to around a million people. This Dublin Red Piano Show is the very last one Worldwide and with none planned for the foreseeable future, it is highly unlikely that the show will be seen again in Europe at all.

A piece of Irish sporting history and unique VIP Package will go under the Hammer. Up for grabs is a signed 2009 winning Grand Slam six nations Irish Rugby Jersey and amazing VIP experience at Croke Park. The jersey was signed by the team after Ireland claimed a dramatic win and their first grand slam in 61 years. Originally donated to the Ballycastle Hospice Support group, the signed jersey was passed on to the organizer of The White Sapphire Ball, Séainín Brennan, who will put it up for auction at her star studded red carpet event next month.

Tommy Bowe, who plays on the wing for the Ospreys, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions has also personally donated 2 tickets to watch Ireland versus Australia at the magnificent Croke Park stadium on Sunday 15th November 2009. The sold out match will be one of the highlights in this year’s rugby diary and the lucky bidder will experience Ireland play on home ground to a packed stadium of 82 000 people and to top it all off afterwards they will meet the young international star.

Northern Ireland’s golfing sensation Rory McIlroy is taking time out from his busy schedule to play a round of golf with a lucky bidder. The round of golf with Northern Ireland’s hottest golfing superstar at the stunning 5 Star Lough Erne Golf Resort is just one of the exclusive ‘Money Can’t Buy’ Grand Auction lots on offer at the Europa Hotel on October 3rd. The lucky bidder also gets use of an Audi R8 – courtesy of the evening’s main sponsor Agnew Corporate, for a true driving experience as they make their way to enjoy a luxury weekend break at the famous Lough Erne Golf Resort.

This is the dream package for any golfer! The lucky bidder gets to drive down to Lough Erne Golf Resort in the Audi R8 supercar – the only 5* star golf resort in Northern Ireland. This luxury package includes two nights’ accommodation in a luxury lodge or suite with breakfast, dinner in the fine dining restaurant with a specially selected bottle of wine, afternoon tea for two with their famous chocolate cocktail, thai spa treatments for two and then to top it all off, you get to play a round of golf on the Faldo championship golf course with the world famous Rory McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy: “Playing a round with the winner will be all the more rewarding knowing that children are going to benefit. I had no hesitation offering to support such a worthy cause and I hope the charity auction raises everything it sets out to.”

‘Hollyoaks’ are also on board and are offering one lucky bidder a Walk On Part in their smash hit TV show. This celebrity package also includes: An exclusive ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour of the Hollyoaks set and lunch at Lime Pictures Childwall Studios with the cast for the lucky bidder and a guest of their choice and to top it off, local Hollyoaks star Gerard McCarthy will take the bidder and their guest out for dinner at one of Liverpool’s top show-biz restaurants before they take to the opulence of Liverpool’s Mal Maison hotel for an overnight stay.

Michelin Star celebrated chef, Michael Deane, is offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a gourmet dinner for 8 people, prepared and cooked by Michael himself, in your own home. The winning bidder and 7 friends will also get the opportunity to learn some trade secrets from Northern Ireland’s top chef. This luxury auction item also includes a Sommelier’s choice of fine wine, making it a fantastic opportunity for all gourmet lovers and fans of Northern Ireland’s only Michelin Star Restaurant, Deanes.

“The care that the Children’s Hospice gives to terminally-ill children and the support that they provide to their families is vital. I’m a father myself, but I can’t imagine what it must be like for these families. The Children’s Hospice concentrate on making sure that every day is special for these children and that the whole family gets the support they need. We can all do something to help these children and families by supporting NI Children’s Hospice. It is a great privilege for me to be able to be involved with such a worthy cause” said Michael.

To find out more about this amazing charity event, visit the official website by clicking here.

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