Gala Fund Raiser
5 March 2008

The Gala Fundraiser was a huge success with 340 people attending.  We thank all of you who came to the dinner and also donated towards the dinner and foundation. 

Read More about the evening below.

Choose "Photos" from the menu to view some of them. If you have any photos from the dinner that you would like to share, please email them to Tony Novosel.

Barney Rowan's Report

It was one of those nights – a night of fun, of good company, of remembering and of looking forward. And, for those who were there, it was a night in Belfast’s Europa Hotel that will not be forgotten.

It was an occasion that will be remembered for the political comedy of Sean Crummy of the BBC’s Folks On The Hill, for the singing and storytelling of Colum Sands, Eilidh Patterson and Gerry Creen, for the sketch presented by the award-winning author Dr Marie Jones in the company of Belfast actor Dan Gordon and for the thoughtful words of Ian McIlhenny.

Different people will remember different things – the singing of young Lauren Cleare from Birr in County Offaly, the auction in which the ‘peace pipes’ of David Ervine, Gusty Spence and Gerry Adams sold for £6,500, and for Gerry Creen’s performance of The Boxer in the company of Colum Sands, the journalists Mervyn Jess, Ivan Little and Barney Rowan, with our very own Three Degrees - Dawn Purvis, Monica McWilliams and Jeanette Ervine - on a packed stage singing along.

It was one of those nights when everyone wanted to join in. The three hundred plus audience including Stormont MLAs, councillors, commissioners, the PSNI Chief Constable, representatives of the US Consul General, the city’s Deputy Lord Mayor, guests from schools and other youth agencies,the churches and international guests were welcomed by MC Dan Gordon.

He thanked those who provided sponsorship for the Foundation and assisted it in its work, including Peter Lavery and the Rita Charles Trust, Denis Rowan and FAS, Tom Moran and Community Foundation Northern Ireland.

The acclaimed actor Ian McIlhenny spoke to the audience on the work of the Foundation: “Already the Foundation with sponsorship from Denis Rowan and FAS has taken 23 children to the peace village in Messines Belgium.

“We have some of those young people with us tonight –Lauren from Birr in County Offaly who sang so beautifully for us earlier, Shannon from Dundonald and Anthony from the Short Strand.

“Mervyn Jess of the BBC recorded the visit and the learning of our young people. It was, I suppose, a lesson in shared history.

“They are the future – the future of this place and we need to look after them – in the words of Gerry’s song this evening nurture that seed and help it grow.”

Ian said the Foundation would soon engage with professionals from education and training to identify where help is most needed and how it is best given.

The evening ended with music and dance in the company of “The Unusual Suspects”.Jeanette Ervine and the Foundation would like to thank all of those who gave so generously of their money and their time to make the event such a success.

“It was an amazing night,” Jeanette said.

It was that and something more – an occasion that also contributed to peace-building and reconciliation.

What is the David Ervine Foundation?

The David Ervine Foundation is being established as an independent charitable Fund in celebration of the life and aspirations of David Ervine. The Fund is being set up as an Advised Fund within the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. As such it will be directed by the Board of Trustees of the David Ervine Foundation while benefiting from the 28 years of experience that the Community Foundation has in the management of charitable funds. This will ensure that the donors to the David Ervine Foundation can benefit from all the tax advantages of charitable giving. It will also enable the David Ervine Foundation to draw on the extensive grant-making experience of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. The David Ervine Foundation will operate a named Bank Account within the Community Foundation, where all donations will be lodged and recorded.

A Message from Jeanette Ervine 

After the sudden and untimely death of my dear husband, we as a family were devastated and with David’s friends and colleagues shared a sense of disbelief. It was so unfair that he was taken from us.  

Those who knew David understood his mission - his tireless work for peace and reconciliation not only in his beloved country but across the world. He was an inspiration to so many – a man of vision, who was so positive in our peace process and who had so much hope for our children. I know that those he gave his time and his friendship to are left better for having met him.  

Through the David Ervine Foundation, we want to keep that vision and his memory alive.  I sincerely thank all those involved and I know David would have been greatly moved by their generosity of spirit. 

Our aim in setting up this Foundation is to enable disadvantaged children and young people to reach their full potential – to give them a vision and a chance to do their best. If you would like to help us achieve our aim please send your donation to the David Ervine Foundation.

Many thanks.  

Jeanette Ervine

Contact Information

If you have any questions and/or comments please contact us.

Telephone:    028 90245927
Fax:                028 90329839

Postal address
The David Ervine Foundation
C/O Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
Community House
Citylink Business Park
Albert Street
BT12 4HQ

Electronic mail

General Information: Contact the Foundation
Webmaster: Webmaster