b'NEWSLauraLynn HouseIrelands First Hospice for Children Officially OpensIrelands first Childrens Hospice: The LauraLynn House at the Childrens Sunshine Home, was officially launched by former PresidentMary McAleese in September, 2011. Until now, Ireland has never had a dedicated hospice for children. As families face the most difficult moment imaginable, they have traditionally had two options: for a child to spend their last days in a hospital or at home. The Lau-raLynn House now has eight bedrooms along with living facilities as well as four family apartments to enable relatives to be close to theirchildren. The Ireland Funds supported the opening of the House and it is now able to support over 300 families across Ireland a year. Former President Mary McAleese at the official opening of the LauraLynn HouseHonorary Board Chair of the Irish Arts Center Liam Neeson with Honoree Dolores McCall.Irish Arts Centers Spirit of Ireland Award Gala honors Dolores McCall and Bill Whelan.Dolores McCall, a Board Director and longtime supporter of The Ireland Funds, and Riverdance composer Bill Whelan, were honored by the Irish Arts Center in New York. Eachyear, the Center celebrates the contributions made to the Irish and Irish American culturalcommunity by leaders from the artistic and business worlds. Previous honorees and special guests include Bono, Ralph Fiennes, Jimmy Fallon, Jim Sheridan, Terry George, PierceBrosnan, Maureen OHara, Michael Flatley and Ronnie Drew. Longtime patrons and IrishArts Center Honorary Board Chairs Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne were on hand to presentthe awards on an evening which raised over $500,000 to support programming in perform-ance, exhibition and education at the Center. The star-studded event was attended by over350 supporters of Irish arts, including New York City Speaker Christine Quinn.connect 2012 | 55'