T21 Ball & Auction in aid of the Down Syndrome Centre

by Alison O'Hanlon
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The inaugural T21 Ball was a night of glamour, raising vital funds for The Down Syndrome Centre. 

Raising money for Down Syndrome is a cause close to the hearts of John and Sophie Barrett. John Barrett of Sean Barrett Bloodstock Insurances and Sophie Barrett daughter of Philip and Jane Myerscough who are widely known in the industry as owners of the successful breeding operation Colbinstown Stud, gave birth to their 3rd son Seve in October 2021.

Steve was diagnosed prenatally with Trisomy 21, the official name for Down Syndrome. 

Together with Kerry Ryan of Kerry Ryan Event Management and formally of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association, the 3 have set themselves a substantial goal to raise a significant amount of money for The Down Syndrome Centre. ‘We wanted to direct our focus to The Down Syndrome Centre which is invaluable to families of children and children with Down Syndrome, providing services where it is so difficult to access them elsewhere, and a place for support, advice and friendship. The birth of Seve has opened up a whole new a world for us and we wanted to do our small bit to help this wonderful charity.’ 

Peter and Mary Gaw set up the Down Syndrome centre back in 2014 as a result of their frustration at not being able to access relevant services for their two youngest children, both of whom have Down Syndrome.

The Down Syndrome Centre is a non-government funded charity which relies solely on donations – It is Irelands first services led centre for people with Down Syndrome and alongside this, runs awareness campaigns promoting inclusion, acceptance and an understanding that Down Syndrome is just a part of a person, it does not define them. 

The T21 online auction was launched in November and continued up to the inaugural T21 Ball which took place in The Alex Hotel, Dublin, on Saturday 10th of December 2022. A live auction also took place at the ball with a selection of exclusive lots up for grabs. 

The generosity of guests on the night, along with online auction resulted in a very significant amount of money being raised the Down Syndrome Centre. Following the auction, the guests partied the night away dancing to the wonderful music of the band Harlequin.

Featured Image: Pictured at the T 21 Ball Andrew, Alison, Tara, Mary and Peter Gaw with Harrison and Tara Gaw in front.
All pictures: Lorraine O’Sullivan

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