The Irish Americans
Don Keenan spearheaded the drive to provide a new home for the Murphy family of Atlanta, who since 1983 have adopted 23 children ranging in age from 13 months to 34 years.
Although all adopted children have some sort of special needs, the majority of the Murphy children have Down syndrome. John and Jeanette Murphy have a passion to teach these children both independence and teamwork, and for them to grow into thriving adults. Now, thanks to Don, and the efforts of a team of volunteers, the family entered their new home in early March.
Don has been raising awareness of children’s issues for over 25 years. A lawyer who has received numerous honors, including the Chief Justice Award for Civility and Professionalism, he formed the Keenan’s Kids Foundation in 1993, to raise community awareness about child issues on everything from playground safety to trigger locks for guns.
Raised in Morehead City, North Carolina, Keenan knew from an early age that things did not come easy to everyone. After his father died, he was raised by his grandfather who told him stories of “No Irish Need Apply” signs and Keenan never forgot those stories.
In a nod to both his Irish and Southern roots, Keenan has been the driving force behind this magazine’s annual “Stars of the South” gala in Atlanta, which honors Irish-Americans and Scots-Irish from the Southern United States.
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