New York Times best-selling author and journalist Lee Woodruff was guest speaker at The American Ireland Fund Women’s Luncheon on November 29th at the San Francisco Four Seasons Hotel. This was the Tenth Anniversary Luncheon which has established itself as a very popular fixture on The Ireland Funds’ calendar, attracting close to 400 guests. This year’s event was chaired by Jeannie Sangiacomo and Suzi Tinsley and was a roaring success! Honorary Chairs were Olivia Gaynor-Long, and The Ireland Funds America Board Directors Pauline Ryan and EJ Tracy. The Luncheon was attended by Ireland’s Consul General Philip Grant, Vice Consul Colum Hatchell and San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White. The event sparkled with festive joy and good humor as guests met and mingled on arrival for another great reunion at this annual gathering.
Following a stylish champagne reception with Vince Chiurazzi on piano, guests made their way to the Grand Ballroom. They were greeted with a lively dance program by young performers from the Whelan-Kenneally Academy, of Irish Dance, accompanied by the Kevin Roche Band. Vice President of Development Marjorie Muldowney welcomed the vivacious group which included Judge Kathleen Kelly and Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney. Special guests included Board Directors Pauline Ryan and Bart Murphy as well as Eileen Moore, Maureen Sullivan, and Betsy McKiernan. Kim Murphy was there from UCSF as well as longtime supporters Cinta Murphy of Cinta Salon, Kathleen Ryan, Ginny Kavanaugh, Barry O’Brien of Silicon Valley Bank, Kathy Grogan of Hood & Strong, Mary Toboni, and Meagan Levitan, and friends from IDA Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland. Special thanks to Erin Ebeling of Alice Phelan Sullivan Corporation, Jillian Manus, and Dede Wilsey for their generous support.
As co-author of the New York Times best-selling In an Instant, Lee Woodruff garnered critical acclaim for the compelling and humorous chronicle of her family’s journey to recovery following her husband Bob’s roadside bomb injury in Iraq. Bob and Lee founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist injured service members and their families heal from the wounds of war. To date, the non-profit foundation has raised more than $27 million and invested in grassroots organizations and programs around the country that are helping veterans successfully reintegrate into their communities and receive critical long-term care.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes White introduced Lee Woodruff who gave a terrific presentation, moving the audience from tears to laughter, while referencing her early years as a McConaughey. Lee praised those in uniform and paid tribute to their bravery in helping to keep us safe. And she encouraged everyone to never let a difficult situation define them. The crowd loved her!
The Luncheon Drawing, which included a spectacular Ireland trip, was generously sponsored by The Merrion Hotel, Dromoland Castle, and Sheen Falls Lodge Hotel. Other sponsors included Neiman Marcus, Cinta Salon, San Francisco Giants, MoMo’s Restaurant, Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, the Irish Repertory Theatre, Butler’s Irish Chocolates, and the Four Seasons Hotel, Thank you to our wonderful sponsors.
A big thank you to all our guests for joining us at this fabulous Luncheon and supporting The Ireland Funds. We look forward to welcoming everyone at the San Francisco Gala Dinner on Saturday, March 4th, 2017.