The American Ireland Fund will celebrate its Inaugural Emerald Ball in the Grand Ballroom of the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas on February 23rd. This is the newest addition to the calendar of more than 100 events The Worldwide Ireland Funds host annually around the globe and will raise funds for The Worldwide Ireland Funds Promising Ireland Campaign which is currently assisting hundreds of charities throughout Ireland, North and South. The event is co-chaired by David Devlin Co-owner of Scapes Incorporated and Dr. Caitríona Ryan.
The Inaugural Emerald Ball will be an exciting debut in the Dallas social season. Daryl Johnston, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys, and his wife Diane, longstanding supporters of The American Ireland Fund, will be the evening’s honorees. The event will begin with a wine reception and art exhibition by the renowned Dallas artist, Shannon Kincaid. Following dinner, there will be a performance of “Tara” by Kincaid Stringer and Leslie McDonough. Kincaid is a Dallas native who has just finished a world tour with Riverdance, including a February performance in Dallas which received rave reviews. Leslie McDonough is a former Texan Rose who toured with Spirit of the Dance in Ireland. Entertainment for the night will be provided by The Spazmatics.
On the night, The Phillip Earle Williams, III, M.D. Award will be presented to Dr. Alan Menter (Chief, Division of Dermatology, Baylor University Medical Center) in recognition of his world-renowned research in dermatology, and for his expertise in the treatment of psoriasis and other complicated diseases of the skin; Dr. Menter’s mother was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland; he spent the first five years of his life in Dublin and subsequently has maintained a strong connection to his mother’s birthplace. He represented South Africa in rugby and played against Sir Anthony O’Reilly, co-founder of The American Ireland Fund. The Award bears the name of Dr. Phillip Earle Williams, III, M.D., a distinguished young doctor of internal medicine, recently deceased, with strong ties to Ireland where he received medical training under the mentorship of Dr. Cormac Macnamara of Waterford and his son Dr. Luke MacNamara of Glenstal Abbey.
The Corboy Anam Cara Award will be presented to Camilla Ballard, Director of Youth Ministries at First Presbyterian Church, Dallas. The Award is named after Mr. Michael R. Corboy and “Anam Cara” is Irish for “soul friend”. Mike Corboy is a long standing American Ireland Fund Board Director and Dallas philanthropist who first introduced Camilla Ballard to Northern Ireland through the Speedwell Trust - a community venture that brings together Catholic and Protestant primary school children through a curriculum-based program that addresses the exploration of the environment. Camilla Ballard orchestrated a Save Speedwell campaign when its government funding was cut. She is now introducing First Presbyterian youth to integrated education projects in Northern Ireland which bring Catholic and Protestant students together. She has established an exchange program between the First Presbyterian youth group and Blackwater school in County Down. Camilla Ballard has been a true “soul friend” to Ireland for ten years.
About The American Ireland Fund
The American Ireland Fund is a philanthropic network that supports worthy causes in Ireland promoting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland. Founded in 1976, The Worldwide Ireland Funds currently operate in 12 countries and have raised over $430 million for more than 1,200 outstanding organizations. In response to the severe downturn in the Irish economy, The Worldwide Ireland Funds launched the Promising Ireland Campaign in 2009 to raise $100 million by the end of 2013 in support of charities that are experiencing an increased demand for their services at a time of a major reduction in resources. The initial campaign goal of $100 million was reached 19 months early and the goal was revised to $140 million, requiring the Funds to raise $1 million a month until December 2013.
The campaign’s title, Promising Ireland, reflects the Funds’ pledge to these groups as well as their belief in Ireland’s future. Over 350 outstanding projects and organizations have received support from the Promising Ireland Campaign.