Lions’ Club Vegas night raises funds for town centre defibrillators

Banbridge Lions Club President Shane Burns and Lions Aidan McElroy, Brian McShane, Brian Nobel and Sarah Robb at their Casino Night in The Belmont Hotel �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-203EB

Banbridge Lions Club President Shane Burns and Lions Aidan McElroy, Brian McShane, Brian Nobel and Sarah Robb at their Casino Night in The Belmont Hotel �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-203EB

If you suffered a cardiac arrest in Banbridge town centre, there are currently no defibrillators within easy-reach to revive you.

So said Banbridge Lions’ Club as it announced plans to change that.

Joe Kerr, Shelly Dowds and Des Savage at the Lions Casino Night �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-204EB

Joe Kerr, Shelly Dowds and Des Savage at the Lions Casino Night �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-204EB

Last Friday night the club organised “Lions’ Vegas” Poker and Casino event and raised over £3,000 in the process.

Novices and sharks filled 12 tables at the Belmont Hotel for the Lions’ inaugural event which was raising money to buy defibrillators for Banbridge town centre.

The success of the event, and the money raised, means the Lions should be able to buy three defibrillators to be strategically position within the town centre.

Event convenor and Lions’ President, Shane Burns, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people come out to support our first ‘Lions’ Vegas’ event.”

Stephen and Gail Radcliffe, Ken and Diana Whan �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-205EB

Stephen and Gail Radcliffe, Ken and Diana Whan �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-205EB

“We had lots of participants who had never played poker before and a few of them even made it to the last table. Then after a gruelling head-to-head, the winner and runner-up generously returned their prize money, further adding to our proceeds on the night.”

The Lions recognised the need for an expert and turned to local poker fan, Tony Rafferty of Mulligans fruit shop.

Shane continued: “Tony played an invaluable role on the night, and with his two assistants, Geoff and John, everything ran so smoothly.

“For those who bowed out of the poker early, we had blackjack and roulette tables to provide further entertainment and that they did.”

Christopher Maher, Conor Tinnelly, Glenn Donnelly, Blair McDonald and Niall O'Doherty �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-206EB

Christopher Maher, Conor Tinnelly, Glenn Donnelly, Blair McDonald and Niall O'Doherty �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-206EB

The Lions’ president said they would be liaising with local businesses on the high street with a view to identifying the best position for the new defibrillators.

“We will be back with a public announcement on the location of the new defibrillators so everyone is aware of where they are located,” he said. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone and of course the staff at the Belmont Hotel and Tony for his expertise on the night.”

Paul Bennington, Ian Bennington, Henry Brown, Darren Young and Peter Bennington �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-207EB

Paul Bennington, Ian Bennington, Henry Brown, Darren Young and Peter Bennington �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1642-207EB