The American Ireland Fund Texas Emerald Ball March 5, 2016
Black-tie Event was a Celebration of the Many Connections Between Texas and Ireland
One of the social and cultural highlights of spring is the Texas Emerald Ball, a fundraiser for The American Ireland Fund and the organizations it supports both locally, in Ireland, and around the globe. This year’s Texas Emerald Ball theme celebrated the many connections between Texas and Ireland.
The event was Co-Chaired by Rachel Gaffney Smith and her husband Peter Smith. The evening honored Amanda and Brint Ryan as well as Caroline Rose Hunt and Vivian Young. Mr. Ryan is a fourth generation Texan from Howard County, Texas whose ancestry is rooted in County Tipperary, Ireland. Both he and Amanda have made significant contributions to the business, educational, political, and philanthropic landscapes throughout the world. Caroline and Vivian were the recipients of the Corboy Anam Cara Award. “Anam Cara” means Soul Friend in Gaelic. Caroline and Vivian have worked to preserve the best of Ireland’s history through the years as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Dallas Irish Georgian Society. Attendees included Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who served as Honorary Chair of the Ball and his wife Jan, Chairman of The American Ireland Fund John Fitzpatrick, and President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds Kieran McLoughlin were also in attendance.
The American Ireland Fund Texas Emerald Ball spotlighted the best of Ireland and Texas culture thanks in part to the many cultural connections of Co-Chair Rachel Gaffney Smith. The evening highlighted Irish fashion designer Jacqueline Quinn who launched her couture collection and Texas artist Gail Wendorf who presented paintings from her collection. Entertainment was provided by the sensational Irish violin duo Sephira, upcoming Texas star Madison McWilliams, and Irish Dancers from the MaGuire Dance Studio. There was a live auction consisting of three trip packages to Austin, California, and Ireland. The evening came to a close with Emerald City’s Party Machine Band and dancing well into the evening.
In addition to supporting outstanding nonprofits across the island of Ireland, The American Ireland Fund has contributed to local Dallas charities for many years. Organizations supported include Our Friends Place; Pauline’s Place, named for an Irish nun who settled in Texas and devoted her life to assisting young girls and women in crises; Ground Zero Project’s North Texas tour, and First Presbyterian Church of Dallas’ Youth Leadership mission to Northern Ireland.