9th March, 2012

San Francisco Gala Dinner 2012

On Friday, March 9th, The American Ireland Fund in San Francisco held its
annual black tie gala fundraiser at the St. Francis Hotel.

Kevin White, President of The White Land Company received The American
Ireland Fund 2012 Distinguished Leadership Award. Kevin was joined in
the celebration by his wife Mary,  his four beautiful children, family
members and a large group of friends. The Dinner was attended by almost
500 guests and featured a festive cocktail reception and post-dinner
dancing with David Martin's House Party, who made it so much fun for

KRON TV News Anchor Catherine Heenan radiated as Guest Presenter and was
joined by Bishop Ignatius Wang – Archdiocese of San Francisco, who
began the Gala Dinner with a special invocation.  AIF President &
CEO, Kieran McLoughlin flew in from New York to pay tribute to Kevin
White and provided an update on the success of the Promising Ireland
Campaign to raise $100 million.   Monsignor Steven Otellini, currently
serving as pastor of The Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park,
California, provided a personal and heartfelt introduction to the
honoree.  Kevin accepted The Distinguished Leadership Award amidst
terrific applause and appreciation.  His eloquent words were modest and
appreciative of the award as he spoke movingly about his family and his
dedicated work in Lourdes.

The Black Brothers kicked off the entertainment with lively traditional
Irish music. They were followed by Patrick Meade of Bonhams, who
generated enthusiastic bidding for a glorious trip to Ireland including
round-trip flights on Aer Lingus to Dublin, a magnificent Edwardian
country house in West Cork donated by Peggy & Mike McGrath, as well
as a wildly popular Whiskey Basket donated by Brian Sheehy of Cask, a
very special Napa Trip donated by Kerry Egan of The Villagio in
Yountville, a San Francisco Escape, and an outstanding collection of
premium WinegGeese wines from the cellars of The American Ireland Fund
Board Directors and key supporters.  And then the dancing began!

Special Guests included Consul General Gerry Staunton, and AIF Board
Directors Eileen & Bart Murphy, Maureen & Craig Sullivan,  along
with San Francisco Regional Advisory Board Member John McDonnell.  San
Francisco Regional Director Marjorie Muldowney greeted the Dinner
Committee who were out in force:  Mary Toboni (Honorary Chair),
Georgeann Fannon,  Marybeth Barrett, Sally Ann Flood & Michael
Kenny, Hon. Barry O’Brien, Kathleen Ryan, and Rita and Dan O’Hara,.  The
Gala Dinner was kindly supported by many longtime friends including EJ
Tracy, Joan & Dave O'Reilly, Mr. & Mrs. A.W.B. Vincent, the
Irish Technology Leadership Group, and Diane Wilsey.  There was also
generous corporate support from Tracy Industries, Visa, Digicel, Invest Northern Ireland,
IDA/Enterprise Ireland, UCSF Medical Center, Deloitte, Kenny &
Company, and Mary Immaculate College

Sincere thanks and appreciation to all our guests for attending this wonderful evening.  

Congratulations Kevin!