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Pam's People: Celebrating a gift that keeps on giving

By Pamela Ballantine

It is that time of year I find so difficult to pronounce - Philanthropy Fortnight. Running from today until May 1, this initiative recognises the generosity, time, commitment and support that thousands of people give here every day to so many good causes. Many of these were highlighted at the launch in Clifton House in Belfast and will celebrate 30 years of Foundation Philanthropy.

Meanwhile, fashion was to the fore in the Fitzwilliam Hotel for the launch of its chic Ninth Floor, the special occasion event space. Tracey Rodgers from Style Academy presented collections from Blush and Orchid Lingerie as well as jewellery from Stella & Dot, while guests enjoyed canapes and sipped champagne.

Gather together a group of ladies, throw in a cocktail masterclass in the Europa Hotel and you know you are in for a good evening organised by Visit Belfast, as if we needed any encouragement.

Peter O'Connor, the Diageo reserve brands ambassador, was our mixologist and he did look a bit daunted at the prospect - but when he recognised our enthusiasm for our task he soon relaxed, as did we after sampling our Tanqueray, Zacapa and Ketel One creations.

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