The Los Angeles American Ireland Fund held a private Celtic Christmas Reception on Tuesday, December 6th for Directors and key supporters. West Coast Director Marjorie Muldowney thanked Adrienne Fontanella & Peter Culhane for hosting the party and welcoming special guests to this glorious evening at their splendid Pacific Palisades home. This exquisite house sits above five acres of olive trees, overlooking a canyon towards the Pacific Ocean and there was a light breeze as guests enjoyed cocktails on the terrace. Inside a roaring fire was blazing and there was a warm glow as guests mingled and exchanged friendly festive greetings. It was like a scene from a Christmas card as accomplished pianist Al Green entertained us with wonderful seasonal music and a few Irish favorites. Adrienne & Peter were delightful hosts, making everyone feel charmed and welcome.
Newly-appointed national AIF Board Director Harry Hartford of Causeway Capital was there with his wife Susan. They were joined by Lisa & Tom Barry, Joan & Jim Layden and Chris & Kaitlyn Cafferky Kyle. Other special guests present were actor Matt McCoy and his wife Mary, Julie & Dan Murphy, Debbie & Tom Lomis, Michele Shalloe, and treasured friends of the Fund Margaret Hayhurst, and Anne Murphy who attended with sons Jamie Murphy and Sean Murphy. Elliott Lemberger and Christina Cha of Kennedy-Wilson were there along with Alan Hearty and his wife Hilary, as well as Brendan Carroll, James Kearney, Olivia Tracey, Tom Napier and Mary Beth & Don Woods. We were delighted to see new friends of The American Ireland Fund including Mary & Brian McCarthy, Mary & George Garvey, Kathy Eldon, Trevor Hall, Molly Flaherty, and Kathy Hart, as well as Monsignor Liam Kidney, Marjorie DeHey & Paul Overacker, and Patricia Danaher.
Ties between Los Angeles and Ireland continue to get stronger with exciting developments on the list for 2015. Mark your calendars for the Dublin-based Children’s Medical Research Foundation Tournament at Sherwood Country Club on February 9th in honor of Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin. In addition, the Special Olympics World Games will be held in Los Angeles in July with a large contingent of Irish athletes participating, joined by their families and a fleet of volunteers. The Ireland Funds have been longtime supporters of Special Olympics Ireland for many years and will be cheering on the athletes and their families when they come to the U.S. for this special event.
This was a joyful evening of goodwill, filled with laughter and good humor. Jim Layden gave us a rousing performance of "The Fields of Athenry" and "Danny Boy" – backed up by a group of brave friends! – and dear Annie Murphy wrapped up with “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”. Heartfelt thanks to Adrienne & Peter for their cordial and generous hospitality.
Merry Christmas to all!