On December 6th, over 150 members and supporters of the New York chapter of The American Ireland Fund New York Young Leaders gathered at Moran’s Chelsea for to celebrate a record year of fundraising for the Promising Ireland Campaign and to enjoy some good Christmas “craic.”
The evening also provided the Young Leaders with an opportunity to recognize one of their own as they toasted Bernadette McCabe Kelly as the New York Young Leader of the Year. Young Leaders from London (Aisling Garvey), Boston (Joana Listas) and Washington, DC (Kelly Dragelin) were also in attendance to celebrate with Bernadette.
As Jameson cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served, guitarist John Malone set the mood with traditional Irish favorites and holiday classics.
National Director of the Young Leaders Pat Tully welcomed the Young Leaders and spoke about the great work they have done in New York and around the world. After thanking the evening’s presenting sponsor, Jason O’Connor and his firm Blue Ocean Brokerage, Tully introduced New York Young Leaders Steering Committee Chair, Rob MacGoey of PWC who spoke of the great benefits of membership in the Young Leaders and cited examples of the great opportunities he has been afforded as a member.
Rob then handed over the microphone to the 2012 Young Leader of the Year, Joe Tully (no relation to Pat Tully) who joked about handing over his crown to Bernadette McCabe Kelly after his reign as the YLOTY. Joe noted the deep commitment that Bernadette has for The American Ireland Fund and the hard work she put in to make the 2013 St. Patrick’s Celebration honoring Chris O’Dowd, a huge success.
Joe then handed the microphone and the reins over to the woman of the evening, Bernadette McCabe Kelly. Surrounded by friends and family including her sister and AIF Board Director, Tara McCabe, Bernadette thanked all of those who attended and spoke about the rewards of giving back:
“You all are often encouraged to take a leap of faith when attending our events, since the impact of what we accomplish is not quite so tangible for us here in New York. You aren’t able to always see the impact we all have had across the island of Ireland, at integrated schools in Northern Ireland, at groups such as COPE Galway, providing meals to the senior citizens of Galway, or the Belvedere Youth Club which cares for and educates children in inner city Dublin and supports families.
Just a few short weeks ago, many of us attended an incredibly moving event in here in New York of The Ireland Funds’ supported Irish Hospice Foundation, a group which provides respect and dignity to loved ones in their final days. And closer to home, just a few short blocks north of here, there is an incredibly bright future for the Irish Arts Center, also supported by The Ireland Funds, which is and will continue to be a bright beacon for Irish arts and culture in our city.”
Bernadette finished by inviting people to join her in helping these organizations and become a member of the Young Leaders.
Dinner was then served, followed by a spirited live auction that included VIP tickets to see “Watch What Happens Live!” in person, courtesy of New York Young Leader Deidre Connolly and a cocktail party for 15 and shopping spree at the NYC showroom of fashion stars FAHERTY Brand.
A bus was made available to take the supporters to a private after party at Tavern 29, owned by NY Young Leader Croine O’Halloran.
Special thanks to our sponsors for the evening: Blue Ocean Brokerage and Jason O’Connor as well as Jameson Irish Whiskey and Tavern 29 and our friend John Malone and James Higgins Photography.