12th February, 2015

Palm Beach Emerald Isle Dinner Dance 2015


The American Ireland Fund’s 25th Annual Palm Beach Emerald Dinner Dance took place on February 12, 2015 at The Breakers and drew nearly 200 friends and supporters. Michele Kessler, Hillie Mahoney and Thomas C. Quick, served as the Honorary Chairmen of the event.

The evening began with a cocktail reception in the Magnolia Room followed by dinner dance and dancing in The Circle Dining Room with entertainment provided by Street Talk. This year, The American Ireland Fund paid tribute to National Board Director Lore Dodge and her husband John. Lore‘s involvement with the Fund dates back to 1997, and she has played an integral role in helping ensure the success of annual Palm Beach Emerald Isle Dinner Dance.

Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds, welcomed the guests and thanked them for their support and generosity. He said that the past year was “tremendous for The Worldwide Ireland Funds,” acknowledging John Fitzpatrick who, in 2014, succeeded Loretta Brennan Glucksman as Chairman of The American Ireland Fund.  He also reported that The Worldwide Ireland Funds Conference was held in Belfast in Northern Ireland, for first time in almost 40 years, signaling the organization’s ongoing commitment to the Peace Process.

John Fitzpatrick followed with a welcome and update about his first year as AIF Chairman, and introduced Tom Quick, AIF National Director, who had enlisted the service of his good friend, The Right Honorable Brian Mulroney, to do the honor of recognizing the Dodges for their personal, professional and philanthropic accomplishments. The Dodges are highly respected for their commitment to many philanthropic causes in Palm Beach, Martin and Port St. Lucie counties.  He cited their dedication in helping advance The American Ireland Fund’s work, especially in Northern Ireland, where Lore’s roots lie. Then he called Lore, resplendent in a stunning emerald green gown, to the stage for the presentation and her acceptance speech.

Following dinner, Tom conducted a live auction for a Hugh O’Neill oil painting and a trip to Ireland.  After the auction, guests were entertained by violinist Gregory Harrington, described by the Irish Times as “a hypnotizing and charismatic performer,” who won the Artists International Competition and made his Carnegie Hall début in 2003.

The gala evening raised $350,000 and drew guests that included Paul Gleeson, the Consul General Of Ireland in Atlanta, Ambassador Anne Anderson, Lesley and Bart Grenier, Peggy and  Mike McGrath, Pat Cook and Robert Nederlander, Talbott Maxey, Kit Pannill, and Kelly and Joe Rooney.