On Wednesday November 13, 2019, over 500 friends of Ireland gathered to celebrate The Ireland Funds 35th Annual Chicago Dinner Gala and to honor Ellen & Tom Tully and Horizon Therapeutics Plc. at the Four Seasons Chicago
The dinner Chairman Michael O’Halleran, the Co-Chairs Devon Bruce and Patrick Canning and all the dinner committee members ensured that not only was it an enjoyable and fun evening but one of the most successful and impactful Chicago dinners to-date.
Guests were led into the ballroom by the Shannon Rovers Pipe Band. Paddy Homan sang the Irish and US National anthems.
John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The Ireland Funds America, welcomed the guests, thanked the dinner committee, introduced our national board member, Angela Moore and concluded with the introduction of our speaker Caitriona Fottrell. Caitriona Fottrell, Vice President and Director of Ireland, updated the audience on the current grant rounds in Ireland and spoke passionately about the impact Chicago’s support for the past 35 years has had on innumerable charitable causes across Ireland.
After dinner, emcee Pat Tully introduced the entertainment- singer Billy Dwyer and the Sheila Tully Academy of Dance. Pat then auctioned off the trip to Ireland. Special thanks go to United Airlines, Blue Book Accommodations, Sheen Falls Lodge, Ashford Castle, the Merrion Hotel and Ireland Chauffer Travel.
The new President and CEO of The Ireland Funds America, David Cronin, then presented The Ireland Funds 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Award to Horizon Therapeutics, Plc. Chairman, President and CEO, Timothy Walbert accepted the award and spoke about Horizon’s corporate responsibility impact. Horizon has consistently supported more than 40 nonprofits; partnered with Perspectives Math and Science Academy, seeking collaborative opportunities to improve the daily experience of the students, and tracked their global impact against 11 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Horizon is a great example of prioritizing their corporate social responsibility goals.
Next, Michael O’Halleran, Chairman of The Ireland Funds Regional Advisory Committee, presented The Ireland Funds 2019 Leadership Award to Tom and Ellen Tully. Tom and Ellen Tully are humble Chicago leaders and philanthropists. They are involved in and have supported so many organizations including Lurie’s Children Hospital, Big Shoulders, St. Ignatius and John Carroll, just to name a few.
Tom’s parents Delia McNeela and Michael and Ellen Danaher Tully’s great grandfather hail from Swinford Co. Mayo. The importance of family, faith and heritage was a constant theme in their home.
It was an outstanding dinner and because of the generosity of so many, The Ireland Funds will be able to continue its vital work in Ireland and across the globe.
Photographer: Dean Battaglia