RTÉ’s architect, Dermot Bannon, will collaborate with Julien Benson, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ celebrity for the ‘Room for Improvement’ special, to air in 2023.
his couple are working together on a project that is very close to Benson’s heart, namely an accommodation center in Dublin for people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and their families.
He was diagnosed with CF at the age of two and has been raising awareness of the condition over the years.
The talented agent and choreographer, who has been fundraising for the project since 2018, has purchased a suitable property in Rathgar but the four-story heritage house needs a lot of renovation.
Speaking at last night’s fundraiser, the Winter Wonderland prom at Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge, Bannon said they wanted to create a “home that’s like a hug.”
“I participated in the project. Julien bought a house that he wanted to turn into a home for CF families and it was a big project,” he told independent.ie.
“It was much bigger than I thought Julien had anticipated, and that became clear when we started looking at the house and had the experts come in to look at the fire and all that boring stuff.”
“But basically the budget for the work is huge and we have to donate as much as we can tonight,” he told Independent.ie.
Benson, who was dubbed ‘Captain Sparkle’ on DWTS, bought the house a few years ago but couldn’t go any further with the project until they raised more money because he wanted it to fit the needs of his family. CF family. The hotel is located near St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin, where the national referral center for CF is located.
Bannon said the completed property will relieve some of the financial stress for CF families who have to travel up and down the capital for treatment and may have to stay here for weeks at a time, at a time when hotel rooms are expensive. . .
“When he first approached me to do it, it was unquestionable. A lot of us forget that families often have the need to travel and spend the night in Dublin. They may have a sibling in the hospital and other siblings at home who may not see them for several weeks. And this will allow families to stay together.
“This just relieves stress. Also hotel and accommodation prices in Dublin have gone insane. So depending on how severe a person has CF, accommodation is a big deal,” he says.
Filming has been going on for months for the one-off RTÉ special with a camera crew interviewing attendees of last night’s black tie event, organized for the Julian Benson CF Foundation.
Hosted by Lorraine Keane, more than 400 guests gathered at the south hotel to show their support as they enjoyed a sit-down dinner followed by a raffle and auction organized by Gavin Duffy in the hope of Hope to raise over €100,000 from this event.
Video of the day
Guests included Claudine Keane with her mother Joan, Elaine Crowley, Jake Carter, Miss Ireland Ivanna McMahon and Norah Casey.
Michael Flatley sent a video message to Benson and also sent God his dance performance of the night, sponsored by Core Capital.
Attendees got a sneak peek at the new TV show, in which Benson gets emotional in a clip as he talks about realizing his dream to create this new living space for CF families.
“Blood, sweat and tears poured in here. I promised my mother many years ago that I would do something and give back to the CF community and that has always been in my mind and dream is to provide a lodging facility,” he said.
“I have no time to waste and I want that to happen. This is just the beginning.”
It is believed that at any given time, there may be more than 100 people with CF being treated in inpatient hospitals and of those, more than 60 will be treated in Dublin.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/in-pictures-the-stars-are-out-for-the-winter-wonderland-ball-as-bannon-and-benson-unite-for-dream-project-for-cf-42211742.html In pictures: The stars attend the Winter Wonderland prom as Bannon and Benson unite for the ‘dream project’ for the CF