The American Ireland Fund 27th Annual San Diego Gala and Auction took place on March 6 at the spectacular Grand Del Mar, a new resort in the northern part of San Diego County. It was a perfect blend of tradition and innovation as ten young men, each a son of one of The American Ireland Fund’s long-time supporters, received an individual Heritage Award given to acknowledge the bridge between the past and future leadership of The American Ireland Fund in San Diego.
Honorees included Daniel Broderick IV, Russell Chapin, Ryan Lynch, Douglas W. Manchester, James Conor McDonald, Michael Mulvihill, Sean Neil, Michael O’Connor Reidy, Bennett Sexton and Erik Thorsnes.
Gerri and Brian Monaghan, local authors of the national best-seller “The Power of Two: Surviving Serious Illness With An Attitude & an Advocate", the story of Brian’s successful battle against malignant melanoma, received The Robert A. MacNamara Literary & Arts Award.
Reprising past roles, John Lynch, Gail King and Bob Sexton served as this year’s chairpersons.
The evening began at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception, and entertainment by the always popular In Case Trio – Mike Reidy, & Noel and Bill Hall. Dinner was highlighted by a video presentation of the work of The American Ireland Fund and the accomplishments of the honorees. Entertainment by Annette Griffin, an Irish singer committee members met during a trip to Ireland followed. Annette performs at Ashford Castle in Ireland and has become a favorite of San Diego Gala attendees. This was Annette’s second appearance at one of the Galas.
This year’s event also included a live auction. Some items were so popular they had to be offered twice.
Sensation Show Band provided quite a finale to the evening. Three generations could be seen celebrating their Irish heritage in the ballroom as they danced the night away.