On Monday, September 15th over 100 golfers joined us on the stunning links at Bayonne Golf Club to enjoy a day of challenging golf while raising money for the Promising Ireland Campaign at our 12th annual NJ Golf Classic.
The perfect weather conditions provided the opportunity for our supporters to enjoy a brunch outside while warming up on the practice green and driving range for the 11AM shotgun start.
Out on the course the golfers competed in traditional competitions including “Closest to the Pin” and “Longest Drive” but were also treated to a putting contest with the opportunity to win a new mountain bike courtesy of BMW, who also sponsored the “Hole in one” competition where the winner would receive a two year lease on their new electric car. No one won the car, but committee member Angus Miller, an avid cyclist, won the bicycle.
The golfers finished play around 5PM and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in Bayonne’s classic pub and deck while members of the band “Celtic Cross” entertained the supporters with traditional Irish tunes.
The guests then headed downstairs for dinner in the clubhouse restaurant and were greeted by The Worldwide Ireland Funds President and CEO Kieran McLoughlin, who thanked the supporters and congratulated the committee on another record-breaking fundraising effort and informed them that their efforts raised $250,000 for the Promising Ireland Campaign.
Kieran then introduced Paul Finnegan from the New York Irish Center who spoke about the great work done in support of the “Forgotten Irish”, funded by the generosity of our donors and he encouraged people to come visit the Irish Center in Queens.
The program continued with event Chair Patrick Leahy thanking the golfers and presenting sponsors including Neil Clark and Nick DeMartini of Fidelity Title, Joe Cassin and Delta Airlines.
Patrick then turned the program back to Kieran who introduced our honoree, AIF Board Director, Michael Higgins who was presented with the very unique award, made out of ancient Irish bogwood. Michael gave a heartfelt speech and thanked his friends and those who came out to support him and the work of The American Ireland Fund.
The evening continued with a spirited live auction conducted by National Director of The Young Leaders, Pat Tully. The auction included the opportunity to come back to Bayonne to play a round of golf with AIF Board Director, Bob McCann and Giants Super Bowl Champion Shaun O’Hara. Delta also provided a package that included round trip flights to Ireland with golf at the world famous K Club.
Finally the awards were given out and Presenting Sponsor Neil Clark had the winning foursome and committee member Chuck Reagan has the longest drive, amongst other awards.
Special thanks to the 12th annual NJ Golf Committee, our presenting sponsors: Delta, Fidelity Title and Joe Cassin. Also special thanks to BMW; Penske Automotive and BMW of Tenafly, NJ and our event Patron, Bob McCann, CEO, UBS