The Irish American Society of County Will is sad to announce the loss of one of our own:
William H. Fitzgerald. Godspeed, Bill. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Michael J. "Mike" McHugh, age 67, of Manhattan, passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at Silver Cross Hospital, New Lenox, IL. He is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Mary (nee Murray) McHugh, his son, Brendan (Colleen) McHugh of Chicago, his daughter, Mary Kathleen McHugh of Chicago, his grandson, Finnegan Michael McHugh, his three brothers, Richard (Barbara) McHugh, Terrence (Joan) McHugh, and Brien (Kathleen) McHugh, his father-in-law, James Murray, Sr., his sisters-in-law, Therese Dyer, Maureen (Pat) Murphy, Virginia (Dave) Krueger, and Eileen (Terry) Glynn, his brother-in-law, James (Chris) Murray, and numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and friends. Visitation for Mike will be Wednesday, June 7, 2017 from 3-8:00 P.M. Funeral service will be 9:30 A.M., Thursday, June 8, 2017 from Forsythe Gould Funeral Home in procession to St. Joseph Catholic Church, 235 West North St., Manhattan, for 10:00 A.M. Mass of Christian Burial. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery, Manhattan. The family respectfully asks that in lieu of flowers donations in Mike's name to any one of the following organizations that were near and dear to his heart would be most appreciated; St. Joseph Catholic School P.O. Box 70, Manhattan, IL, 60442, Providence Catholic High School, 1800 W. Maple St., New Lenox, IL 60451, Wreaths Across America, www.wreathsacrossamerica.org, or the Irish American Society of County Will Scholarship Fund, 1800 Mason Ave, Joliet, IL 60435. Forsythe Gould Funeral Home, 507 S. State St. (Rt. 52) Manhattan, IL 60442, 815-478-3321, www.forsythegouldfh.com
Mike was a founding member of the Irish American Society of County Will. He was a pillar of fun and savvy all down through the years. He authored a book entitled A Movable Fest: 20 Years Manhattan Irish Fest about the event that he helped to steer successfully since its inception. Most recently he helped with the establishment of additional annual scholarships to be given in honor our founding fathers. How fitting that he was here for the inaugural granting of those scholarships. Last year after Celtic Fest he said, "Next year, let's tell people to enjoy Celtic Fest in the 'intimate confines' of St. Joseph's Park." And we will do that. He loved Celtic Fest. The Irish American Society of County Will will be forever indebted to Mike. We will miss his humor and his camera and his unfailing care for his community, but mostly we will hold him forever in the intimate confines of our hearts.
Joliet, Illinois - The Irish American Society of County Will is pleased to announce that Miryam Perez of Joliet Central High School and Stephanie Athanasoulis of Lincoln-Way West High School have been selected as this year’s recipients of Founding Fathers Scholarships of $1,000 each. In addition, Andre Baez Martinez of Joliet Central High School, Taylar Brophy of Joliet West High School, Nicole Eatmon of Crete-Monee High School, and Sara Mazrimas of Lockport Township High School have been selected as this year’s recipients of Founding Fathers Scholarships of $500 each. These distinguished young leaders plan to pursue careers in medicine, law, business, and education.
Founding Fathers Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors on a competitive basis of scholarship, leadership, service and promise of future contributions to the community and can be used at a college, university, or trade school.
Since its founding in 1981, one of the essential purposes of the Irish American Society of County Will has been to promote education, friendship, understanding and cooperation among members and the community in general. This is the inaugural year of the Founding Fathers Scholarship and it has been awarded as a tribute to those who established the society in 1981.
The IASCW, a qualified non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3), was founded in February, 1981 in Joliet, Illinois. The IASCW offers people of Irish ancestry and friends the opportunity to share cultural education, heritage preservation, volunteer experiences, fellowship and laughter. Membership is open to all Will County residents.
Contact: Bettie Komar
Phone: (815) 735-3511
IRISH AMERICAN SOCIETY
OF COUNTY WILL
P.O. Box 81, Manhattan, IL 60442
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
For further information contact: Sharon Houk, firstname.lastname@example.org; 815-342-9715.
County Will Irish Gather in Honor of St. Patrick
Over 100 members of the Irish American Society of County Will (IASCW) gathered on Saturday, March 25, to celebrate St. Patrick. The celebration was held at the hall of the Knights of Columbus Joliet Council 382 located on 129th Infantry Drive in Joliet.
Members and guests were welcomed by IASCW President Chris Schaal followed by the pledge of allegiance and an invocation by Bill Ferguson, the Society’s Historian and a founding member. Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner of traditional Irish fare provided by Paula and Jeff Greenberg of Doing Thyme Catering. Entertainment was provided by The Dirty Wellies, a local band focusing on traditional Irish music, and the Joliet Firefighters Pipes and Drum Corp with members Bryan Ogrizovich, Dave Eicholzer, Mike Bank, and Brian Plyer performing.
Mike Reilly presented the 2017 Irish Life Experience (ILE) Scholarship to Hannah Borgra, a Junior at Joliet West High School. The 2016 IASCW scholars Max Kottman of Joliet and Shannon Davison of Romeoville delivered a PowerPoint presentation of their Summer 2016 Irish Life Experience. Since 1981, 47 Will County high school students have received IASCW assistance to this exchange student program that includes 3.5 weeks in Ireland. Scholarships cover approximately $3,000 of the $5,100 program tuition. All Will county residents and/or high school students are welcome to apply. http://irishlifeexperience.com/
Everyone in attendance celebrated the 87th birthday of Chairman of the Board, Dan Maher, especially the several generations of the Maher family. Dan is a founding member and has been pivotal to the Society’s prosperity during its past thirty-six years.
Sharon Houk, Dinner Chair, said that this annual dinner gives IASCW members and friends a chance to celebrate the Society’s year-round fellowship and service to the community, which this year included over $11,000 in scholarships and donations to local charities including, among others, Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen, Lamb's Fold Center for Women and Children, Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue, VFW Cantigny Post 367, and Senior Services Center of Will County.
President Schaal announced the inaugural year of the Founding Fathers Memorial Scholarship which is a tribute to all who were instrumental in the creation of the Society in 1981. The scholarship will provide a high school student graduating in spring of 2017 with a $1,000 scholarship to use at the college, university or trade school of his or her choice. Applicants for the Founding Fathers Memorial Scholarship should be in their final year of high school. Eligible students will be planning to attend an accredited college or university, a junior college, or a trade school beginning in the fall of 2017. All students with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, are residents of Will County, and embody characteristics of strong character and service are encouraged to apply. More information can be found at http://www.countywillirish.net.
The celebration was brought to a colorful and joyous close with a presentation by the Keigher Academy of Irish Dance under the direction of Susan Alderson and Holly McNichols. The Keigher Academy of Irish Dance in Minooka is a perpetual favorite at area Celtic events.
The IASCW, a qualified non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3), was founded in February 1981 in Joliet, Illinois. The IASCW offers people of Irish ancestry and friends the opportunity to share cultural education, heritage preservation, volunteer experiences, fellowship and laughter. Membership is open to all Will County residents.