Some background:A relatively new event on the Welcome Home calendar, it started in 2008. Since the first Lunch took place it has been decided to host the Lunch every second year and always on the Friday of an RBS Six Nations home game in Dublin.
The Lunch has taken place in Fire Restaurant at The Mansion House and will again be hosted there this year on Friday, 8th March. This is the day before Ireland V France at AVIVA in the RBS Six Nations Championship. We are delighted with the venue and the Lunch is always sold out with 180 people attending. There is always a fantastic atmosphere at the Lunch and guests arrive from 12.30 onwards for pre-Lunch drinks with the last guests being “asked” to leave Fire at about 5pm.
Pre-lunch drinks, four-course meal, wine and bottled water also provided as well as top-class entertainment all add up to a great afternoon’s entertainment. There is also a raffle for match tickets for the international match the following day.
Again, we will have great entertainment with Matt Cooper interviewing Joe Schmidt about rugby matters and we are trying to arrange comedy entertainment to round off the day.
The 2011 Event:
The 2011 Charity Lunch took place at Fire Restaurant on March 18th, which was the day before the fantastic Ireland V England game at AVIVA which Ireland won impressively by 24-8. It was also Gold Cup day at Cheltenham. Again, there were 175 people attending and there was a fantastic mix of rugby and racing entertainment. Welcome Home was delighted that Joe Schmidt, Head Coach of Leinster Rugby, agreed to be interviewed by Matt Cooper. The informative and humorous interview was followed by a lively Q&A session. New Zealand rugby legend, Zinzan Brooke, was in attendance and gave his views in response to questions from Matt Cooper.
As part of the rugby theme, we had a raffle with two pairs of tickets for Ireland V England at AVIVA and one Family Ticket for Leinster V Leicester in the Heineken Cup Q/Final at AVIVA on April 9th as prizes. The raffle was very generously supported by those attending the Lunch. The lucky winners of the Ireland V England tickets certainly had a great day out the next day at AVIVA. Let’s hope Leinster can follow suit against Leicester on April 9th.
The Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham was of interest to many of those who attended the Lunch. Welcome Home provided large TV screens to view racing and also a bookie onsite to take bets from guests. We were also very fortunate to be supported by Paddy Power who very kindly provided a €500 free bet, on behalf of the charity, on The Gold Cup with any winnings going to the charity. This bet was part of a free draw for guests at the Lunch. The winner of the draw, however, chose Imperial Commander (the 2010 winner of The Gold Cup) whose fate was known before the horses straightened up for the run in. Maybe next time!!
All in all, this was a very successful and enjoyable afternoon and we will be hosting the next Charity Lunch in 2013.
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