On Tuesday, November 7th, 2023, close to 500 friends of the island of Ireland gathered to celebrate The Ireland Funds 39th Annual Chicago Dinner.
Áine Mallaghan, Vice President of The Ireland Funds America, Midwest, welcomed guests.
Special guest speaker Amb. Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland’s 19th Ambassador to the United States, spoke about the very special relationship between Ireland and the United States.
Michael O’Halleran, Chair of The Ireland Funds Chicago Regional Advisory Committee, presented Abbott with The Ireland Funds Corporate Social Responsibility Award, accepted by its Chairman and CEO, Robert B. Ford. Robert spoke about the impact Ireland has had on Abbott’s success.
Robert also announced the establishment of an Abbott No Mind Left Behind Scholarship program for students in County Kilkenny, where Abbott is building their new factory.
Devon Bruce, Co-Chair of The Ireland Funds Chicago Regional Advisory Committee presented Matt Moore of Chicago Cut Steakhouse with The Ireland Funds Leadership Award. Matt spoke about his journey from Ireland to the United States and said, “I am proud to be part of this incredible global network that works hard to support Irish-related causes around the world.’’
Dinner Chair Michael O’Halleran, Co-Chairs Devon Bruce and Tom Meagher along with dinner committee members ensured that it was a successful and fun evening. Raphael Onwunali, an Irish student current at the University of Chicago, spoke about the gift of education and his experience as an Ireland Funds scholarship recipient. Special performer for the evening, Irish singer, Tolü Makay, wowed the guests with her rendition of N17 and her original song Don’t Let Go.
Special thanks to Sheen Falls, Ireland’s Blue Book, Tralee Golf Club, Dooks Golf Club, Experience Ireland Golf and Travel, and Chicago Cut Steakhouse for their generous support of the 2023 Chicago Dinner auction.
Photographer: Ana Miyares