5th November, 2014

Chicago Dinner Gala 2014

The American Ireland Fund 30th Anniversary Chicago Dinner was held Wednesday evening, November 5, at the Hilton Chicago. It was the most successful in the three-decade history of the event and it was a remarkable tribute to the support base in Chicago that a record breaking $1 million dollar fundraising goal was achieved.

Over 700 guests gathered at the sold-out dinner to honor Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., President of the University of Notre Dame, with The American Ireland Fund 2014 Leadership Award and Ellen and Jim O’Connor, Chicago civic and philanthropic leaders with The American Ireland Fund 2014 Humanitarian Award.

Thomas F. Meagher, Jr., Regional Advisory Board Chair, welcomed and thanked the guests; gave an update on the Fund in Chicago; and introduced a brief film retrospective of the past honorees.

President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds, Kieran McLoughlin spoke about the enduring links between Chicago and Ireland, and the impact the generosity of Chicago is having at a time when it is needed most.

Mr. Andrew J. McKenna (Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame) presented the Leadership Award to Father John Jenkins,C.S.C.

Mr. John Canning, Jr, (Madison Dearborn Partners) presented the Humanitarian Award to Ellen and Jim O’Connor.

Ireland’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson; former Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, Loretta Brennan Glucksman and current Chairman John Fitzpatrick were also in attendance celebrating this important milestone in Chicago’s history.

The proceeds of this dinner will benefit The Worldwide Ireland Funds’ Promising Ireland Campaign to support nonprofit organizations across the island of Ireland and around the world. In addition, donations will be given to three local Chicago charities.
This was a wonderful Irish celebration of family and friends made possible by the extraordinary work of the Dinner Co-Chairs and Committee and all those who attended.