Spring is in the air and signals a new beginning for the Center
We are well and truly now in the middle of spring-a time that for eons has been a time of great change ands regrowth in nature. Spring marks the beginning of warmer weather and longer daylight hours, the blooming of flowers and the budding of leaves. Spring also coincides with the second quarter of the financial year. The Center continues to perform well on the financial side of operations-as we have maintained strong performances from Wawona Gates and the Irish Shoppe since the turn of the year. We continue to be prudent in our expenditures but recently invested in financial and cloud based accounting technologies to run a more efficient operation. This investment will provide considerable fixed cost savings down the road across all our operations.
Our loyal membership continues to provide support with ongoing gifts, donations and membership renewals
that all help boost the financial health of the Center and support our wider community where we can. This
month we give pride of place to the all the members and families who have contributed over $40,000 since
last summer to the Leo Walsh Education Scholarship Fund. The funds will be dispersed in June to local 8th
graders attending high school in the fall, and local high school seniors who are college bound this Autumn.
Applications are currently under review by the Scholarship committee. Since I 994, over 500 scholarships
have helped educate young members of the local Irish American community. Please review the current named
scholarship awards on our website: https://irishcenters.org/scholarships/
Members are encouraged to contribute to the scholarship fund or create their own legacy by establishing a
named Award for their Family or in memory of a loved one.
I am glad to report that bulletin subscriptions are up year over year, and so if you have not paid your annual
subscription-this maybe your last one! Please take a moment to continue to subscribe to the monthly newsletter.Use the bulletin page in this months edition to renew.
The UICC finances are on a solid foundation ( despite the impact of the pandemic) after two years of amazing work by a dedicated and hard working board with the support of the I,IS0 active members, volunteers and the broader community. Members should make every effort to attend the in person public meeting on Friday May 7th at 7pm which outlines the plans for the future of the Irish Center. While the meeting will be conducted in the St. Patrick’s room following local mandated Covid guidelines, we will also simultaneously stem it into the Wawona Gates canopy. Please register to attend the meeting at www.irishcenter2025.org.
We have spent much of the past year developing plans to make the Irish Center a destination once again. Come and hear about the exciting plans for the future of the building.
Now that Covid restrictions are shaking loose and more and more people can gather safely, our private event bookings are on the rise. Delayed and canceled meetings, birthday parties, memorials and weddings are filling up the UICC calendar. It is great to have the “event excitement” in the building again. Longer term, we are happy to see some of our larger clubs and organizations secure dates for their annual events.The Connaught club have scheduled their annual dinner for Saturday Oct 9th, the Emerald Society is penciled in for Oct 23rd, while the Rebel Cork clubs have secured Dec 11th.
We are also happy to report that we have three different Irish dance schools currently teaching out of the Center. Welcome to the Dillon, Murphy and Kenneally schools. Irish dance schools and the dancers themselves have had a tough time during the pandemic as classes and competitions were heavily restricted. The dance schools were the first to kick start our cultural programming last fall on our outdoor stage, and we are delighted to host classes inside now.
Our kids Story time classes on Saturday mornings via zoom during March and April were a big hit with kids and parents alike. Maire Clerkin from Los Angeles was the “seanachai” (storyteller) who kept the kids on the edge of their seats and sometimes out of their seats to dance and play each Saturday. It is hoped to bring the kids
story time back in the fall.
Our Irish Summer Camp runs from June 7th to June 25th, and interest has been robust to date to say the least. The camp will take place at the St. Cecilia’s Collins Center, at 2560 18th Avenue between Vicente and Ulloa. Early bird pricing until May I 5th, $750 for three weeks of camp from 9am to 3pm each day. Learn to play the drums, or keyboards, speak Irish, participate in drama, storytelling, multi media production, art classes and even hip hop!
The Irish Dance exhibition organizing group spearheaded by Anne Cassidy Carew is busy collecting memorabilia and documenting Irish dance stories at the moment. The group will continue their efforts through the summer in time for the fall presentation. If you have a story to tell or something to contribute you can reach her at
Thank you to all the members who have taken the time to write to me, or email me in the recent past. I do take time to respond to each and everyone one of you. I know the Irish Center is close to your hearts, and I want to reassure you that the Center is on good hands. It’s been a real baptism of fire, and learning experience the last two years since I first got on the Board. It takes a lot of human energy to keep things going week in week out with so many different aspects of the job to deal with. Its been a real labor of love and I am enjoying it!
I want to end this months message to acknowledge all the Mothers and grandmothers out there. Mothers Day is May 9th and so make sure you treat the mother in your life with special love and care one on the one day of the year dedicated to them.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Liam Reidy, President