On Tuesday, December 4th, The Ireland Funds Young Leaders and friends gathered to kick off the Christmas season at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Phoenix Park. The Ambassador’s Residence was the perfect backdrop with floor to ceiling Christmas decorations creating an amazing festive atmosphere.
150 guests filled the rooms to celebrate a great year, with Young Leaders Director Caitlin Duffy announcing that the group had reached their fundraising target of $50,000 for 2012! The Young Leaders pledged that $2,000 of the funds raised from the event would go to The American Ireland Fund’s efforts to support Hurricane Sandy Relief. After 30 years of the Irish American community supporting causes in Ireland, The Young Leaders in Dublin found it only appropriate to give back during this very difficult time.
The guests were delighted to have the chance to mingle and meet with special guest, Brian O’Driscoll. Brian was honoured at the 2012 St. Patrick’s Day event with the first Annual Young Leaders Spirit of Ireland Award, but was unfortunately unable to attend. The Young Leaders were delighted that he was available to attend to address the crowd at this year’s Christmas Celebration. Brian gave a brilliant speech on leadership and the power of the Irish brand; his speech touched on several points that were relevant to the Young Leaders programme and our audience.
The night wrapped up with a festive selection of carols from the Junior Choirs of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. The children put on a spectacular performance and we were so thankful they could join us.
Coaches picked up the guests at the end of the event and headed to the Odeon bar where many of the guests continued the celebration. It was a wonderful to see so many faces old and new and to kick off to the Christmas season together.
A very special thank you to the U.S. Embassy, The Ambassador Mr. Daniel M. Rooney and Mrs Rooney and all of the Ambassador’s Residence staff for such a wonderful evening.