The Ireland Funds honored Janet & Clint Reilly with The Ireland Funds Distinguished Leadership Award at the San Francisco Gala Dinner on Friday, March 10 at the St. Francis Hotel. The Ireland Funds Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Maureen O’Brien Sullivan.
Fr. Paul Fitzgerald SJ, 28th President of the University of San Francisco paid tribute to the Reillys for their philanthropic commitments as well as their longtime support for The Ireland Funds. Janet and Clint Reilly are the owners of a diversified family of commercial real estate, media, and hospitality businesses in San Francisco. Headquartered in the city’s landmark Merchants Exchange building — the company’s flagship property — the portfolio includes the San Francisco Examiner, the Nob Hill Gazette, the Julia Morgan Ballroom, Credo restaurant and Veeder House Wines. In addition to their business activity, the Reillys are active practitioners of “hands-on philanthropy,” engaging with a wide spectrum of causes both personally and through the Reilly Family Foundation. Bay Scholars, launched by the Clint in 2008, partners with 13 Bay Area Catholic college prep high schools, has provided more than $10M in scholarships to more than 1,000 students from underserved communities since its inception. Clinic by the Bay, founded by Janet in 2009, provides free healthcare to the working uninsured and has seen more than 27,000 patient visits to date. Clint Reilly traces his roots back to Armagh.
The Ireland Funds America Board Director Bart Murphy provided a beautiful introduction to Maureen O’Brien Sullivan’s award presentation. Tracing her family’s roots to Counties Galway and Carlow, Maureen is a Bay Area native. Maureen is currently a treasured member of The Ireland Funds America Board of Directors. She’s been a generous and dedicated supporter for over 20 years and during that time has been a regular attendee at almost every annual conference held by The Ireland Funds all over Ireland. Her countless hours of service, good counsel and participation in meetings in San Francisco and New York continue to reinforce what a pillar she has been for Ireland. She has immersed herself in the philanthropic and arts communities of San Francisco. A past board member of Magic Theatre, the Stern Grove Festival and Catholic Charities, she’s also a devoted board member of San Francisco’s Conservatory of Music. Maureen’s greatest love, however, is her family and it was wonderful to see her them represented by her sister Nancy Dirito, daughters Meagan Levitan, Kristin Dickerson and granddaughter Jacqueline Carlson, along with many other family members and friends.
“Tonight’s Gala is an important moment for The Ireland Funds,” said Marjorie Muldowney, Vice President for Development at The Ireland Funds. “Together we’re a powerful force for good and while individually it can be tough to make a difference, by joining with us, you’re part of a group that drives real change in Ireland. One of our most important objectives is to help create a new generation of ambitious Irish young people who’ll strengthen the country economically, culturally, and socially. We’re moving on with an Ireland that is inclusive, that works to bring out the best in its people – and has a strong commitment to social justice, particularly through education – because our future prosperity depends on it”.
Over 350 guests from the spheres of business, the arts and politics attended the Gala, including Consul General Micheal Smith, The Ireland Funds President & CEO Caitriona Fottrell, and Board Director Bill McKiernan. The event was generously supported by Joan & Dave O’Reilly, Janet & Clint Reilly, Maureen O’Brien Sullivan, Dede Wilsey, Michael & EJ Farrell and Susan & Harry Hartford. Key corporate and university supporters included First Republic Bank, Kennedy Wilson, Goldman Sachs, IDA Ireland, Stripe, Invest Northern Ireland, Ross Harper CPA, Alice Phelan Sullivan Corporation, TJH Construction, Queen’s University Belfast, University College Dublin (UCD), University of Limerick (UL) and Dublin City University (DCU). Longtime supporters Mary & Joe Toboni, Ann King & Steve Murphy, Kerri Murphy Hogan, Helen & John Hartnett of the ITLG, Meagan & Dale Carlson, Nancy & Bill Murphy, and Tourism Ireland attended with a wonderful group of enthusiastic guests. The Hon. Kathleen Kelly & Kevin Holl were there with Kevin & Ann Ryan, as well as San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkins and San Francisco’s Chief of Protocol, Maryam Muduroglu. Irish Tenor Dermot Kiernan added a wonderful sound of Ireland with his magnificent Irish voice and the evening wrapped up with a lively dance session with Dave Martin’s House Party.
Special thanks to our sponsors who generously contributed to the exclusive auction & drawing: The Merrion Hotel, Ashford Castle, Dromoland Castle, Sheen Falls Lodge, Fitzpatrick’s Hotel New York as well as a generous donation of products from Guinness.
The event marked the beginning of the St. Patrick’s Day season and raised key support for hundreds of Irish charities and causes. The Gala is the largest West Coast event of the 150+ events held globally by The Ireland Funds. Save the date of Friday, December 1 for The Ireland Funds San Francisco Women in Leadership Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel.
Photos: Drew Altizer