The American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala Celebrates its 40th Anniversary and Raises $4.3 Million to Assist Irish Not-for-Profit Groups
The 40th Annual American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala Honors the Leslie C. and Regina Quick, Jr. Family and Welcomes Special Guest Senator George J. Mitchell
The American Ireland Fund hosted its milestone 40th Annual New York Dinner Gala on Thursday evening, May 7, 2015 in New York City. The Ireland Funds were founded in 1976 by Sir Anthony O’Reilly and Ambassador Dan Rooney at an inaugural dinner held in New York City. Four decades later, the New York Dinner Gala has now raised over $50 million of support for the philanthropic work of The American Ireland Fund.
The event on May 7 raised $4.3 million marking another milestone in establishing the 2015 New York Gala as the most successful event ever held by The Worldwide Ireland Funds.
“Tonight, we celebrate the vision and courage of Tony O’Reilly and Dan Rooney in establishing the Fund at our very first New York dinner in May, 1976,” said Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds. “Just as the honoree that first night was a relatively unknown Irish Senator named Mary Robinson who went on to become the President of Ireland, that pioneering dinner was the seed for the Fund to become one of Ireland’s largest private grant makers. Despite all the changes and challenges of the last four decades, the mission Tony and Dan set out that night to strengthen the island of Ireland, remains as relevant and as necessary as ever.”
The American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala recognized The Leslie C. and Regina Quick, Jr. Family with its Bird and Bell Award for their extraordinary commitment and philanthropic work across Ireland and beyond. Past recipients of the Bird and Bell Award have included Seamus Heaney, Liam Neeson and President Mary McAleese. In addition, special guest Senator George J. Mitchell was recognized for his distinguished career advancing peace around the world and in particular, for his role in leading the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland that resulted in the Good Friday Agreement.
Over 1,000 guests from the spheres of business, the arts and politics attended the Gala at the Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central. It is the largest of the 100 global events hosted annually by The Worldwide Ireland Funds. The 2015 American Ireland Fund New York Dinner Gala was chaired by Robert J. McCann, President Americas, UBS AG. The event celebrated Irish culture and heritage and generated much-needed funds for The Worldwide Ireland Funds’ Promising Ireland Campaign which has assisted over 650 Irish charities to-date.
+ The Irish Times ++ American Ireland Fund raises €3.8m at New York event
Philanthropic organisation’s 40th annual gala raises money for Irish causes, and honours NI peace architect Senator George Mitchell. The American Ireland Fund, the philanthropic organisation that raises money for Irish causes, made $4.3 million (€3.8 million) at its 40th annual New York gala on Thursday evening.
The organisation has now raised more than $500 million since its inception.
More than 1,000 guests attended the event, the biggest fundraiser held by the group’s umbrella organisation, the Worldwide Ireland Funds. The gala dinner itself, started in 1976 by Sir Anthony O’Reilly and former US ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney, has raised more than $50 million in support of the fund’s philanthropic work.
On Thursday, the fund paid tribute to Senator George Mitchell, the special guest at the event, for his efforts at advancing peace in Northern Ireland resulting in the Belfast Agreement of 1998.
The family of Leslie Quick, the late co-founder of the Wall Street brokerage Quick & Reilly, and his wife Regina were honoured for their philanthropic work across Ireland, receiving the Bird and Bell Award.
The award’s past recipients include the late Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, actor Liam Neeson and former president Mary McAleese.