Just before sunset on Wednesday, September 26th, guests gathered at California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey for a private reception hosted by Harry Hartford, President of Causeway Capital. The evening began with a special warm welcome from Harry and his wife Susan who were joined by AIF Board Director, Bart Murphy. West Coast Director Marjorie Muldowney also welcomed everyone and was delighted to introduce AIF VP of Major Gifts, Liza O’Connor. The American Ireland Fund has been re-establishing an active presence in Los Angeles and has now set up a new Regional Advisory Board. Several Board members were there to greet guests, including Kaitlyn Cafferky Kyle, Brendan Carroll, Peter Culhane, Patricia Danaher, Meredith Long and Conor Shalloe.
This picturesque setting by the water on one of the most beautiful days in the city was the perfect spot for internationally renowned sailor, motivational speaker and author, Peter Isler, to share his gripping story of the 2011 Fastnet sailing race. Mr. Isler is a former America’s Cup winner (twice) and was the navigator on Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes in Australia in 1987. He co-authored “Sailing for Dummies” and also wrote “At the Helm: Business Lessons for Navigating Rough Waters”.
Gorgeous floral arrangements, elegant hors d’oeuvres and wonderful Irish music by Peter Romano and his group made this a most convivial gathering. For some it was a warm reunion of friends; for others a very special opportunity to meet with some longtime supporters of Ireland. We were delighted to welcome so many new faces who are becoming active and engaged in the mission of The American Ireland Fund, particularly the current Promising Ireland Campaign to raise $140m by the end of 2013. Guests included Tom Barry of UBS, Kevin McCarthy of City National Bank, Alan Vorwald of Barclays, Adrian Easterbrook of S&P Capital IQ, and Doug Baxter of Robot & Child. Longtime supporters included Kevin Burke, Annie & Jimmy Murphy, Margaret Hayhurst, Jane & Sean Browne, Frank McGinity of the American Irish Historical Society, and Michelle & Tom Kneafsey. It was a pleasure to welcome back friends like Olivia Tracey, Mary Beth & Dr. Don Woods, Debbie & Dr. Tom Lomis, Bill Grantham, Julie & Dan Murphy, Claire & Tom Napier, Margaret O’Carroll, and Gemma McGuinness. New Los Angeles friends included brothers Ellis O’Connor & Lance O’Connor, Marjorie DeHey with her husband Paul, Kathy Eldon with Trevor Hall, Patricia Corrigan & Len Schwigen, Michele Shalloe, and James Kearney. We were also pleased to see several guests from Ireland including Joan Burney Keatings & Maire Campbell from Cinemagic and barrister Maire Moriarty, visiting from Dublin.
Special thanks to Susan & Harry Hartford for underwriting this very successful, fun evening and for their generous support of The American Ireland Fund.