On Monday, September 26th over 120 golfers headed to Bayonne Golf Club to play Irish links style golf in New Jersey.
The perfect Autumn morning started with golfers packing Bayonne’s private ferry in downtown Manhattan and taking a scenic water tour past lower Manhattan, past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, to the dock at Bayonne Golf Club.
After registration, brunch was served and golfers got their game ready on the putting green and Bayonne’s unique floating practice range in New York Harbor.
Pat Tully, National Director of the Young Leaders, greeted the guests and thanked the presenting sponsors, BMW and Delta Air Lines, as well as the many foursome sponsors before sending them out for the 11AM shotgun start.
Out on the course the golfers competed in multiple skills contests including “closest to the pin,” “longest drive,” “straightest drive” and two (2) hole- in-one competitions with a first-class golf trip to Ireland aboard Delta Air Lines and a chance to win a BMW two (2) year lease.
Once play concluded, the supporters headed for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while members of the band “Celtic Cross” played traditional Irish tunes.
The guests then moved down to the dining room for dinner and were addressed by The Worldwide Ireland Funds President and CEO Kieran McLoughlin who thanked the sponsors and supporters and congratulated the committee on an incredibly successful fundraiser for Irish charities both in the US and in Ireland. Kieran pointed out that a portion of the evening’s proceeds would go to a program in Jersey City, NJ to help stop youth gang violence. The program was inspired by Co-operation Ireland’s work with a similar and successful youth program in Belfast.
Kieran then introduced the Co-Chairs, Patrick Leahy and Matthew McBride. Matthew addressed the supporters and introduced the evening’s honoree, Jim Clerkin. Jim is not only the CEO of Moet Hennessy USA, but also the Chairman of Co-Operation Ireland. Jim has been a loyal supporter of The American Ireland Fund and has supported many programs including The US-NI Mentorship program. Jim spoke about the importance of The American Ireland Fund’s role in the continuing peace process and thanked the supporters for coming out to support The American Ireland Fund and the many programs it assists including Co-operation Ireland.
Pat Tully then followed up with an energetic live auction that included a trip to the Ryder Cup, golf at TPC Sawgrass, a golf trip to Ireland with rounds at the famed courses of The K Club and Ballybunion. Delta Air Lines generously provided the airfare for all of the live auction items. New York Giants two-time Super Bowl Champion David Diehl also joined the dinner festivities and donated two VIP tickets to the upcoming Eagles Vs Giants game at MetLife Stadium along with a visit with David down to the sideline before the game and the autographed an official Giants football for the auction winner. Midway through the auction, Pat announced that the outing had reached the goal of raising $250,000 and the event overall brought in over $260,000.
The event concluded with the golf awards being handed out including presenting sponsor BMW winning the top team prize with the lowest net score. Congratulations to Tadhg O’Connor and the BMW team.
The guests then headed up to the deck for a traditional cigar reception on the patio.
Special thanks to the 14th annual NJ Golf Committee, our presenting sponsors: Delta Air Lines and BWM of North America as well as our event patron and National Board Director, Bob McCann.