Friday, February 3, 2017

'No greater place to be Irish than New Haven'

This is a release from the Greater New Haven St. Patrick's Day Parade committee
There is no greater place to be Irish than New Haven.  Since its inception in March 1842, the Greater New Haven St. Patrick's Day Parade has held fast to Irish pride, tradition, and family.  Before the parade hits the streets on March 12, 2017, a long-celebrated event precedes it pageantry; The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Ball.

 Often considered the social highlight of parade season, the Ball officially introduces the Parade Grand Marshal, the Queen and her Honor Attendant, the Committee, and the Honorees to the community in a formal event shaped throughout the evening with flavors and heraldry reminiscent of grand days past.

This year, the Parade honors Grand Marshal Clifford Wall Lynch, Jr. of Woodbridge.  His lineage traces back to the Village of Passage East in County Waterford on his mother's side and to County Cork on that of his father's.  Cliff, an active participant in New Haven's Irish American Community, is a member and past President of the New Haven Gaelic Football and Hurling Club, a member of the Knights of St. Patrick, as well as the New Haven Elks Lodge 25, Athol Eagles Club, and Porcini International.  In addition, Cliff has co-chaired the Annual Shamrock Open for several years.  Most recently, he has helped to resurrect the New Haven Bed Race in 2015. 
Celebrating alongside the Grand Marshal are distinguished honorees:  Porcini International, recipient of the James J. Dinnan Award; Dorinda Keenan Borer, recipient of the Cornelius Driscoll Award; and Patricia Judge Nester, recipient of the Appreciation Award. 
The green hills of Ireland
Porcini International, est. 1996, is an organization that proactively contributes to well deserving non-profit organizations in many unique ways.  Membership has expanded through all diversities, religions and professions who together discuss ways to help fund raise and participate in local New Haven Based non-profit organizations in any way possible.  100% of their funds raised go directly and immediately to charity.  Over their 20-year history, Porcini International has been responsible for over $200,000 in donations.

The Cornelius Driscoll Award is presented to Dorinda Keenan Borer of West Haven as one who exemplifies a strong commitment to serving the public for the better of humanity.  Dorinda has been a champion for many causes including her most passionate, child advocacy.  Her contributions while serving on the Board of Education in West Haven helped modernize the health and wellness for students with emphasis on a state-of-the-art healthy eating program.  She created models for child safety as First Lady of West Haven, was on the Board of Directors for ACES, currently leads the Elks Drug Awareness program for children, and was recently named West Haven's Person of the Year based on her dedication and volunteerism.  Dorinda's contributions to the Irish Community has continued throughout the years.  She served as President of the West Haven Irish Club, earned the honorable position of Grand Marshal in 2003, and, while serving as Chairman of the committee, aided in introducing the Cornelius Driscoll Award along with fellow committee member, John Doyle
The Appreciation Award recipient, Patricia Judge Nester, has been a committee member for over 14 years.  She has served on various fund-raising committees and has been co-chair for the Annual Corned Beef Dinners for eleven years!  The dinners have successfully raised funds for the parade all of those years.  Pat's father was a well-known banjo player and could be heard playing with local Irish Musicians in the New Haven area.  Growing up with the sounds of jigs and reels helped form her interest in Irish music.  Pat's husband of 60 years, Walter, was the 2011 Grand Marshal.  On Parade Day, you will see Pat carrying her half of the committee banner as she has done since joining the committee. 

The Parade Ball will be held at Anthony'sOcean View on February 24, 2017.  It will, no doubt, be a night to remember not only for the honorees, but for the entire Irish Community.  Please join us in the celebration, pride, and tradition. 
For more information, visit our website at or call Joanne Conlan at:  203-494-6297,  RSVP by Feb. 15.  Cost is $100 pp and includes a night of dinner, dancing, entertainment, and open bar.
Editor's note: All information and the top photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.


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