Social Diary: Julian Benson CF Foundation Winter Wonderland Gala Ball

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Julian Benson’s inaugural Winter Wonderland Ball took place on Saturday 8th December in The Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Ballsbridge sponsored by Core Capital. The ball is the first of many fundraising activities set to take place over the coming year and indeed beyond, to raise money for The Julian Benson CF Foundation.

The Julian Benson CF Foundation, has been established by Julian to provide much needed support and services to those suffering from this life threatening illness, and their families. He understands first-hand the needs and challenges that people suffering with CF have to face and has established the Foundation to make a difference, creating a legacy that will continue to help patients and families have a better quality of life, establishing a positive therapeutic healing environment for patients to rest, recover and be with their families at a very critical time.

Julian Benson and Claudine Keane pictured at The Julian Benson CF Foundation Winter Wonderland Ball

The stars came out in force to support Julian’s charity with friends from the world of fashion, TV and dance all donning their glad rags for this very special evening. There was plenty of glam from the cast of Dancing with the Stars past and present, with Maia Dunphy, Erin McGregor, Jake Carter stepping out alongside pro dancers and Ksenia Zsikhotska and Karen Byrne plus recently announced contestant for this year’s series Darren Kennedy who was hoping to pick up some tips from the DWTS pro-dancers!

Fellow judge Brian Redmond, social media superstar James Patrice, show choreographer Lillia Kopylova and creative director Darren Bennett were all in attendance. Julian wouldn’t be Julian without some sparkle and his fabulous jacket designer Clare Garvey was there as was long-time client and friend 2fm’s Eoghan McDermott who took the role of MC to dizzying heights with his trade mark wit and humour. The auction conducted by Fair City’s Maclean Burke was also a smash hit.

Rory Cowan pictured at The Julian Benson CF Foundation Winter Wonderland Ball

The world of TV was also well represented with Virgin Media’s Alan Hughes, along with composer Karl Broderick and Fair City’s Maclean Burke. Rory Cowen took a break from panto rehearsal to attend while some of Ireland’s top models who have known Julian since the days of the UCD fashion shows added a touch of glamour to the evening with Claudine Keane, Rosanna Davison, Roz Lipsett and influencer Rosie Connolly all supporting their dear friend.

Claudine Keane pictured at The Julian Benson CF Foundation Winter Wonderland Ball

Julian is a born entertainer and with 400 guests in attendance no effort was spared in providing the most spectacular line-up of entertainment. All-male a cappella ensemble, The Trinitones greeted guests on arrival, followed by the Rock Tenors and Extreme Rythmn. Music fans enjoyed a performance from 15 year old Rachel Coyne who wowed the audience on the Late Late Toy show last week, while mesmerising dance performances came from Riverdance and the pro dancers from Dancing with the Stars. The room was transformed into a magnificent Winter Wonderland by leading event designer Steven Duggan who has created for Elton John and Adele.

“It has been a very worthwhile journey launching the JULIAN BENSON CF FOUNDATION. The overwhelming support for the ball was fantastic and it is wonderful to know that people believe in the vision for the foundation and want to help in any way they can. So many companies and individuals have reached out to me offering their services free of charge. Ireland is a truly a country of kindness and love.”

I want to say a huge thank you to the Irish people for all their support. Without the wonderful donations of gifts and prizes we could not have made this night such a huge success. This is just the beginning of our journey for the foundation and we will be running many more fundraising events over the coming year. I want to pay tribute to the unsung heroes – the doctors, nurses, parents and carers of those with Cystic Fibrosis.

I have a wonderful board and committee who have been amazing in making this event a huge success – I salute you all. The foundation looks forward to making its vision for the CF community become a reality. I believe that together we can make a difference to the lives of thousands.

I am so humbled at the support I have received to date and tonight has just been a magical and emotional moment in my life. I want to help as many people with CF and their families as I can, #no surrender! – I am a man on a mission. Julian Benson

Funds raised on the night from the auction and raffle and all proceeds will go to setting up Julian’s Tranquilty House and Wellness Retreat. Further info on the charity can be found at