The American Ireland Fund’s 26th Annual Palm Beach Emerald Isle Dinner Dance took place on Feb. 11, 2016 at The Breakers and drew 200 friends and supporters– plus a couple of stars– Irish-born Rory McIlroy, the world’s top golfer; his fiancée Erica Stoll, and the legendary singer songwriter Judy Collins, who treated the guests to a memorable live performance.
Lore Dodge, Bill Finneran, Michele Kessler, Hillie Mahoney and Thomas C. Quick served as the Co-Chairmen of the event that honored Sheila O’Malley Fuchs, an officer of The American Ireland Fund, who serves on the Board of Directors, is an officer and director of the Irish Georgian Society. Inc, and whose involvement with The American Ireland Fund dates back 35 years.
The evening, which was the first US celebration of The Ireland Fund’s 40th Anniversary year, began with a cocktail reception in the Magnolia Room followed by dinner and dancing in the Circle Dining Room with entertainment provided by the Bob Merrill Orchestra. Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds, welcomed the guests and thanked them for their support and generosity, saying that the Promising Ireland Campaign had come to conclusion exceeding all expectations with more than $226 million raised worldwide. He then introduced John Fitzpatrick, the Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, who also thanked the guests and introduced his predecessor, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, who made the award presentation to Sheila.
Following dinner, Tom conducted a live auction for a trip to Ireland and then introduced Judy Collins, who delighted the guests with beloved classics from her five-decade history gold and platinum-selling albums. The gala drew guests that included Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Lesley and Bart Grenier, Cynthia and Mike Gibbons, June and Tim Rooney, Mary Higgins Clark and John Conheeney, Pepper and Michael Jackson, Peggy and Kip Condron, Rebecca and Bill Dunn, and Jackie and Jim Higgins.
Thank you to the Dinner Co-Chairs, Lore Moran Dodge, William B. Finneran, Michele Kessler, Hillie Mahoney, Thomas C. Quick and Committee who made the event a great success. The Dinner Committee included; Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Mr. & Mrs. Brian P. Burns, Mr. & Mrs. Christopher M. Condron, Robert B. Crowe, Danielle E. deBenedictis & Peter G. Karlson, John G. Duffy, Mr. & Mrs. William A. Dunn, Mr. & Mrs. Bart Grenier, Mr. & Mrs. James F. Higgins, Mary Higgins Clark & John Conheeney, Mr. & Mrs. Michael F. Jackson, Sheila Kelly Palandjian, Frederick W. McCarthy, Mr. & Mrs. Michael McGrath, Mr. & Mrs. William Murphy, Dr. & Mrs. Joseph A. Rooney, Mr. & Mrs. Patrick J. Rooney, Sr., Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur L. Ross, Lisa Mary Sullivan, E. J. Tracy.