San Francisco Annual Luncheon – Women in Leadership Series
It was a joy to welcome best-selling author, journalist and founder of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement MARIA SHRIVER as Guest Speaker at the San Francisco Annual Women’s Luncheon on November 28th. Maria is the former First Lady of California and a niece of President John Kennedy. The event was held at the Four Seasons Hotel where over 400 guests turned out to hear Ms. Shriver’s fascinating conversation with author and journalist Lee Woodruff. This year’s event was chaired by Mary Driscoll Toboni, Suzi Tinsley and Theresa Driscoll Moore. Honorary Chairs were Olivia Gaynor-Long, Pauline Ryan and EJ Tracy. The Luncheon was attended by Ireland’s Vice Consul John Callaghan, San Francisco Chief of Protocol Charlotte Maillard Shultz, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and The Ireland Funds America Board Director Bart Murphy. The atmosphere was warm and festive as guests mingled during a champagne reception on arrival.
Vice President Marjorie Muldowney welcomed the buzzing crowd and paid tribute to the generations of women who emigrated from Ireland – and whose children have gone on to achieve outstanding success in many fields. Special guests Eileen Moore, Maureen Sullivan, and Colin Ryan were there along with Kim Murphy from UCSF as well as longtime supporters Kathleen Ryan, Erin Doyle Ebeling of Alice Phelan Sullivan Corporation, Cinta Murphy of Cinta Salon, Kathleen Dowling McDonough, Linda Graham, Mary Hunt, Ginny Kavanaugh, Barry O’Brien of Silicon Valley Bank, Kathy Grogan of Hood & Strong, Meagan Levitan, Helen Hartnett of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, and Sally Ann Flood. Special thanks to Jillian Manus, Dede Wilsey, Bill McNally and Jeanne Sangiacomo for their kind support and to new friends Marcia Harris and Julie Birmingham. We’re also grateful to Liz Ferrari, Eileen D’Arcy, Ann King, Mercy High School, Tina McGovern, Riordan, Sykes, McFadden P.C., Elizabeth Still, Mary Casey and Sheila McCarthy for their generous support.
Lee Woodruff gave a wonderful introduction to Maria Shriver and together they explored several touching themes. Maria spoke openly about her affection for Ireland, and her time there in 2003 during the Special Olympics (founded by Maria’s mother, Eunice Shriver). She also talked about the importance of family and growing up as part of the extended Kennedy family when tears were not tolerated even during tragedies, as well as her poignant experience with her father as he developed Alzheimer’s disease. She has made her work with the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement a priority as research has indicated that two thirds of the people with Alzheimer’s are women. Maria received a standing ovation. The verdict? Best Ireland Funds Women’s Luncheon ever!
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, MoMo’s Restaurant, Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, the Irish Repertory Theatre, Butler’s Irish Chocolates, and the Four Seasons Hotel. Thank you to our generous sponsors.
Thank you to all our guests for joining us at this fabulous Luncheon and supporting The Ireland Funds. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the San Francisco Gala Dinner on Friday, March 9th, 2018.
Photos – Michael Mustacchi