18th November, 2010

29th Annual Dinner Gala

More than 1,000 guests gathered last night, November 18, for The American Ireland Fund's 29th Annual Boston Gala at the Westin Boston Waterfront. Over $2 million was raised for the vital work of The American Ireland Fund across the island of Ireland.

Among those who attended the event were Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Collins, Massachusetts Lt. Governor Tim Murray, State Treasurer-elect Steve Grossman and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. Other guests included Jack Sebastian, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co.; William J. Teuber, Jr. Vice Chairman, EMC Corporation; Mike Sheehan, Chief Executive Officer, Hill Holliday; Karen Kaplan, President, Hill Holliday; Jim Boyle, President, John Hancock Financial Services; Robert Kraft, Chairman & CEO, The New England Patriots along with Myra Kraft; Gerald Hassell, President, BNY Mellon; and Scott Powers, President & CEO, State Street Global Advisors.

The 2010 Gala honored Jane McKenna of Dublin who, after tragically losing her two young daughters, crusaded for more than a decade to establish the LauraLynn Hospice in Dublin. Opening in 2011, the LauraLynn Hospice is the first hospice in Ireland dedicated to children. A portion of the proceeds of the 2010 Gala will benefit the LauraLynn Hospice.

The fundraiser, one of The Ireland Fund’s 100-plus worldwide events, supports Irish philanthropic causes. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event also will support three local Boston charities: The Catholic Schools Foundation, the ArtsEmerson Irish Festival and The Campaign for Catholic Schools.

The 2010 Gala was chaired by Joseph (Jay) L. Hooley, President and Chief Executive Officer of State Street Corporation. James R. Boyle, President of John Hancock Financial Services, and John J. Mahoney, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of Staples, Inc., served as Vice Chairmen.

“The Boston Gala historically has been among the city’s most successful fundraising events each year, and this year, under the leadership of Jay Hooley, has been no different. In fact, it has been one of our best,” said Steve Greeley, Executive Director of The American Ireland Fund. “The event was at capacity and we were pleased to welcome guests from around the world coming to celebrate with us. It is an honor for the Boston Irish-American community to be able to give back to Ireland at a time when our support is needed there now more than ever.”

Added Gala Chair Jay Hooley, “The American Ireland Fund Boston Gala has long been one of most anticipated philanthropic events in the city. It has been an honor to be part of an evening that raises support and awareness of The American Ireland Fund’s work across the island of Ireland, and supports initiatives right here in Boston as well. The needs in Ireland are great and the Irish-American community here has heard the call by generously enabling us to surpass our goals for this year’s event.”