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Golf whizzkid McIlroy puts himself up as charity prize

By Maureen Coleman

Rory McIlroy is to take time out from his busy schedule to play a round of golf with a lucky fan to raise money for charity.

The Co Down golfing sensation — who recently came joint third in the USPGA tournament — will tee off against the highest bidder at next month’s White Sapphire Ball in aid of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

The round of golf with the young superstar, which will take place at the five-star Lough Erne Golf resort is just one of the exclusive Grand Auction lots on offer at the ball on October 3 at the Europa Hotel.

The lucky bidder also gets use of an Audi R8 — courtesy of the evening’s main sponsor Agnew Corporate.

Fresh from his success at the US PGA Cham

pionship, Rory said he was keen to get involved in the fundraiser.

“Playing a round with the winner will be all the more rewarding knowing that children are going to benefit,” he said.

“I had no hesitation offering to support such a worthy cause and I hope the charity auction raises everything it sets out to.”

The generous golf package also 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 the resort’s famous chocolate cocktail, Thai spa treatments for two and, finally, the round of golf on the Nick Faldo-designed championship golf course with Rory.

The star-studded White Sapphire Ball is being organised by Belfast actress Séainín Brennan and has already attracted some big-name guests.

Riverdance will top the bill and comedian Tim McGarry — best known as ‘Da’ from the BBC sitcom Give My Head Peace — will take to the stage with his award winning comedy routine.

Following a glamorous red carpet arrival and entertainment by the Ireland String Quartet, a champagne reception will follow upstairs in the Library Bar, where the Methody Junior Choir will entertain.

Guests will then be seated in the Grand Ballroom where the evening will start with a five-course gourmet meal with wine.

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.

Claire Brown, regional fundraiser for NI Children’s Hospice, said: “Children’s Hospice is thrilled to be chosen as the benefiting charity of this prestigious ball.

“Voluntary income is essential for Children’s Hospice to maintain its services and to allow our life-limited children to receive the care they so desperately need and deserve.

“Without a doubt, every pound raised from the White Sapphire Ball will really make a difference to the children and their families.”

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