The Ireland Funds Fifth Annual Texas Emerald Ball September 30, 2017 Black-tie Event was a Celebration of the Many Friendships Between Texas and Ireland
One of the social and cultural highlights of the fall is the Texas Emerald Ball, a fundraiser for The Ireland Funds and the organizations it supports both locally, in Ireland, and around the globe.
The evening honored June and Archie Bennett, as well as Kevin M. Curley. June Bennett was born in County Down, Northern Ireland, in a town called Holywood in the metropolitan area of Belfast. She has served on several boards including the Dallas Theatre Centre, The Children’s Cancer Fund, and is a patron of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre in Scotland and is the founder and Chairman of the Caledonian Foundation, a family charity that for many years has contributed to programs to end human trafficking and to support other women’s issues. Archie has had a distinguished business career spanning 40 years focusing primarily on the development, acquisition, sale and management of hotels. He is founder and chairman of Remington Hotels, one of the largest privately-held hotel management companies in the U.S. Both he and June have made significant contributions to the business, educational, political, and philanthropic landscapes throughout the world. Kevin Curley was the recipient of the Corboy Anam Cara Award. “Anam Cara” means “Soul Friend” in Gaelic. Kevin has been very supportive in Irish charities and Irish American causes. He was the chairperson for the Dowtown Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade for 15 years and founder of the Shamrock Shootout Golf Invitational which has contributed over $1,200,000 to Irish charities over the past 23 years. Attendees included Shelly & Tom Codd who served as Honorary Chairs of the Ball, Chairman of The Ireland Funds America John Fitzpatrick; Worldwide President & CEO of The Ireland Funds Kieran McLoughlin; Ellen & Andy Welch and Ann & Waymon Levell, Co-Chairs of the event.
The Ireland Funds Texas Emerald Ball highlighted the evening with great food, excellent wine and fabulous music. The UNT One O’Clock Lab Band performed during the cocktail reception followed by Irish Dancers from the MaGuire Dance Studio and Young Leaders Leslie McDonough, Valerie McDonough and Kincaid Stringer of RiverDance. There was a silent auction consisting of trip packages, wine tastings, and sports memorabilia. Dancing went on well into the evening with a performance from Sauce the Band.
In addition to supporting outstanding nonprofits across the island of Ireland, The Ireland Funds has contributed to local Dallas charities for many years. Past organizations supported have included Camp Camilla; Cancer Support Community North Texas; Gaelic Athletic Association/Dallas Chapter; Ground Zero 360 traveling exhibit; Kelly Campers; 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 crisis; the Shamrock Shootout; and Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. Our Friends Place was this year’s chosen local charity.
It was a terrific Irish night of friends coming together to raise support for the key work of The Ireland Funds.
Photos: Can Turkyilmaz