The Ireland Funds hosted its 42nd Annual New York Dinner Gala on Thursday evening, May 4, 2017 in New York City. The event raised a total of $2.65 million for the support of hundreds of Irish charities and causes. The Gala is the largest of the 150+ events held globally by The Ireland Funds. Over the course of the dinner’s 42 year history, it has raised over $55 million.
Honoree on the evening was Jim O’Donnell, Global Head of Investor Sales and Relationship Management at Citi. Jim was recognized for his business acumen and philanthropic commitment. Consul General Barbara Jones was also recognized for her great work and advocacy on behalf of the Irish community in New York during her tenure.
1,000 guests from the spheres of business, the arts and politics attended the Gala which was chaired by Daniel Keegan, Co-Head of Global Equities at Citi.
“Tonight’s dinner is a phenomenal success,” said John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The Ireland Funds America. “Through their generosity, our members and donors are ensuring that significant support is going to help worthy causes not only in Ireland but right here in New York City.Their philanthropy is making a difference in people’s lives and we are so grateful to them for making this happen.”
“The Irish diaspora have truly come through for Ireland and Irish America tonight,” said Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President & CEO of The Ireland Funds. “We see the impact of our donors’ generosity on the ground. It is wonderful that they are showing such belief in and concern for Ireland and its future.”
In addition, to supporting causes in Ireland, a gift of $1 million to the Irish Arts Center in New York City was also announced to assist in establishing its new home. This will triple its capacity and serve more than 120,000 patrons a year with a state-of-the-art contemporary performance space for theater, dance, music, installations and special events.
The Ireland Funds and its guests recognized the recent passing of Amb. Dan Rooney who co-founded The Ireland Funds with fellow Pittsburgh businessman Tony O’Reilly in 1976. Dan was also Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team and served as US Ambassador to Ireland. Those gathered reflected on his profound generosity and impact on countless people across Ireland which now lives on through the work of The Ireland Funds.