Boston, November 21, 2019 – Over 800 guests gathered on Thursday, November 21, for The Ireland Funds’ 38th Annual Boston Gala at the Westin Boston Waterfront. $2 million was raised to support non-profit organizations across the island of Ireland and around the world. The Annual Boston Gala is one of the largest of The Ireland Funds’ 150+ international events.
The 2019 Boston Gala was chaired by Edmund F. Murphy III, President & CEO of Empower Retirement and Great-West Life & Annuity.
The Gala honored Adam Harris, Founder and CEO of AsIAm. Adam established AsIAm based on his own experiences growing up as a young person in Ireland with autism. Today, AsIAm is a leading resource for the autism community in Ireland.
Steve Greeley, Vice President of Development and New England Director of The Ireland Funds America welcomed the audience of donors and guests and thanked them for their tremendous support of The Ireland Funds’ mission. He then introduced Monsignor Liam Bergin, a theology professor at Boston College, who gave the invocation.
Gala Chairman Ed Murphy asked the Boston Gala Committee members to stand and be recognized. He then tied his parents’ generation’s reputation for “giving back” to the genuine philanthropy evidenced by the Gala. John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The Ireland Funds America, thanked the Chairman and the Committee and spoke of his involvement with The Ireland Funds as it has guided his personal philanthropy.
After dinner, David Cronin, President and CEO of The Ireland Funds, outlined the mission of The Ireland Funds as a backdrop to his introduction of the night’s honoree, Adam Harris.
Honoree Adam Harris, spoke of his childhood experience growing up with autism, which encouraged him to found AsIAm to help the autism community in Ireland. He thanked The Ireland Funds for its support and described the impact The Ireland Funds’ flagship grant will have for his organization. He earned a warm and sustained standing ovation from the audience, which was well-deserved.
Always an Ireland Funds Boston Gala tradition, Anna McCusker, a student at Westwood High School, accompanied by musical director Richard Travers, sang her rendition of “The Fields of Athenry,” Ed Murphy’s favorite Irish song, and was rewarded with the second rousing standing ovation of the evening.
Vice President of Development and New England Director, Steve Greeley closed the evening by expressing The Ireland Funds’ deep appreciation to its donors and their guests and to Honoree Adam Harris and encouraged everyone to join popular local Irish band Devri for the post-Gala celebration.
Photos: Maura Wayman