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.