On Monday, September 16th over 100 skilled golfers and supporters of The American Ireland Fund came out to challenge the links at Bayonne Golf Club and raise money for The Promising Ireland Campaign at our 11th annual NJ Golf Classic.
Traditional Irish weather greeted the guests as they arrived by private ferry and car to survey the challenge that lay ahead of them on the banks of New York Harbor.
The rain then faded away while the guests enjoyed a gourmet brunch and warmed up on the putting green and Bayonne’s unique driving range on the waterfront overlooking the downtown Manhattan skyline.
An 11 AM shotgun sent a full field of golfers out to their starter holes where they would compete in competitions including “Longest drive” “Closest to the pin” and a “hole-in-one” competition sponsored by our friends at Jameson, who provided a VIP Round trip experience to Ireland for someone skilled & lucky enough to get a hole-in-one.
The golfers finished play around 5PM and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in Bayonne’s classic pub and deck while members of the band “Celtic Cross” entertained the supporters with traditional Irish tunes.
The evening continued with dinner in the clubhouse restaurant with an introduction by The Worldwide Ireland Funds President & CEO, Kieran McLoughlin, who thanked the supporters and congratulated the committee for a record-breaking fundraising effort. Kieran then introduced Dessie Farrell, CEO of The Gaelic Players Association who thanked the AIF for its support and explained the nature of the Gaelic Players Association and how it continues to support athletes who play the Gaelic Games at the premiere level after their playing careers are over.
The program continued with the event Co-Chairs, Thomas Ryan and Anthony Callaghan, who thanked the golfers and the presenting sponsors, including Neil Clark and Nick DeMartini of Fidelity Title and our Honoree, Bill Murphy, President of Douglas Management & Realty, Inc.
The Co-Chairs then introduced Bill Murphy, who was then presented with his award and spoke about what The American Ireland Fund means to him. He discussed the incredible connection between Ireland and America and thanked the supporters for coming out to support Irish charities at a time when they need it more than ever.
A spirited live auction followed with items that were donated by committee member and Auction Chair Patrick Leahy and Dessie Farrell. Items included a VIP experience at the US Open tennis event and US Open and PGA Championship golf events.
Finally, the golf awards were given out and the winning foursome included New York Young Leader Tom Kennedy, Craig Miller, Kevin O’Sullivan and the appropriately named Terrence Lucky.
The evening concluded with the traditional committee photograph and toast.
Special thanks to the 11th annual NJ Golf Committee, our Presenting Sponsors, Douglas Management & Realty Inc. and Fidelity Title, and our NJ Golf Patron, Robert J. McCann, CEO, UBS Group Americas, UBS Financial Services, Inc. for hosting the outing at the Bayonne Golf Clubs.