On Thursday, March 9th, The New York Young Leaders hosted their annual signature fundraiser, The St. Patrick’s Celebration at Espace, which was attending by more than 600 friends and supports of The Ireland Funds.
As guests arrived, they were greeted by Delta Air Lines ambassadors who “welcomed them on board” to the party. The guests were also greeted with Jameson signature cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. Honoree Colin Quinn arrived soon after and mingled with supporters and took photos with adoring fans.
Soon the cocktail room filled up and the doors to the main room were open and guests were greeted by the sounds of The Dane Wright Band and dinner stations were soon opened.
In the main ballroom, guests visited the Jameson tasting station and bid on the silent auction that included unique experiences like attending The Golden Trailer Awards in LA and safari trips to Africa.
Later in the evening, National Director of The Young Leaders, Pat Tully, got the crowd’s attention by playing the new Ireland Funds’ video celebrating over 40 years of delivering for Irish causes around the world. Pat then introduced Co-Chair Patrick Bogues to present the first honoree of the evening.
Patrick introduced the Dylan Smith Community Service Award and recognized that members of the Smith family were present including Dylan’s Mother, Mary. Patrick then recognized the advocacy work of The Irish Immigration Centers of the United States and announced that the Board of Directors of The Ireland Funds America just approved a $100,000 gift to the centers to help them continue to provide important services to Irish immigrants in need around the country.
Co-Chair Dan Flynn then took to the podium to introduce the Irish Spirit Award Honoree, comedian/actor, Colin Quinn. Dan recognized Colin’s work over the years from MTV to Saturday Night Live to starring with Amy Schumer in Trainwreck and then Colin’s hit Netflix special, The New York Story.
Colin was then presented with the award, which was made of 6000 year-old Irish bogwood. He accepted the award, took the microphone and did what he does best: standup comedy about his heritage and his hometown, Brooklyn, NY.
Following Colin’s hilarious performance, Pat Tully led an exciting live auction which started with VIP tickets to see U2 in New York, provided by Sean Conner of Live Nation and a NY Giants VIP package provided by Giants two-time Super Bowl champion, David Diehl. David then joined in on the fun and helped Pat sell the package. The auction concluded with, of course, a luxury trip to Ireland that including a stay at the Shelbourne, golf at The K Club and a stay at the Sheen Falls Lodge in Kerry.
The fundraising continued with a special appeal for the Irish Arts Center’s capital campaign and to introduce their St. Patrick’s Day program to get more people reading Irish literature. The goal of raising $10,000 was met and exceeded by raising more than $20,000 on the spot.
At the end of the party, the guests were invited to the official after party hosted by Union Beer Distributors at Rattle and Hum West.
Thank you to our wonderful sponsors including: BWM, Blue Ocean Brokerage, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Tavern 29, Union Beer Distributors, Tito’s Handmade vodka and our décor sponsor for the evening, B Floral and Bronwen Smith.
Photo credits; James Higgins, Higgins Photography and Tony Patryn.