On Thursday, December 1st, over 100 New York Young Leaders and supporters gathered at The Core Club in midtown Manhattan for their annual Celtic Christmas Celebration.
As the guests arrived they were presented with the opportunity to buy an American Ireland Fund Christmas ornament to decorate our tree. The proceeds from the ornaments would go to supporting our friends at The New York Irish Center who are feeding families in need around New York City this holiday season.
As the guests enjoyed holiday cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, Peadar O’Hici and Noah Chase entertained them with traditional Irish tunes and holiday classics.
Later in the evening, National Director of The Ireland Funds Young Leaders, Pat Tully welcomed the guests and reflected on another great year for the New York Young Leaders. Pat then introduced Paul Finnegan, Executive Director of the New York Irish Center. Paul spoke about the great support The American Ireland Fund has provided to the center and gifts of over 1 million dollars to support the “Forgotten Irish Program” here in New York City. Paul also invited the Young Leaders to join him at the center for their annual shoebox appeal, which provides Christmas gifts for less fortunate children in New York City.
Pat then introduced last year’s Young Leader of the year and Steering Committee chair, Kelly Jones. Kelly spoke about Brendan Kenny’s dedication to the New York Young Leaders and listed his body of work, including co-chairing the St. Patrick’s celebration in March.
With his wife Natalie and friends and colleagues watching in anticipation, Brendan Kenny stepped to the podium and in true Irish fashion, shared some great stories of his involvement with the Fund dating back to him being a “seat filler” at the New York Gala when he was just a few days out of college and in his first job. Brendan spoke of his pride for the work of the Fund and encouraged others in the room to get involved in the good work of The American Ireland Fund and travel to Ireland to see the impact of that work on the ground.
On the heels of Brendan’s remarks, Pat hosted a fun live auction that included a New York VIP weekend and a trip to see the USA Rugby Sevens tournament in Las Vegas.
That ended the official portion of the program and the guests continued with the holiday cheer and continued on to the after party down the street at Draught 55.
Special thanks to Bill Dessoffy, Core Club sponsor, Deirdre Connolly and Embassy Row Productions, Ann Murtagh and The FIFTY NYC Hotel as well as Rob Cornelius and USA Rugby Seven’s and the G2G Collection for their auction donations.
Photo credit: Sasha Gitin