Caitlin McNeill, of Brooklyn, New York, has been crowned the New York City Rose of Tralee and William Lee, III, of Mineola, New York, the Escort.
Two Junior Roses were chosen: Brontë Steen, of New Windsor, NY, and Molly Bancroft, of Washingtonville, NY; and two Rosebuds were selected: Meghan Treanor, of New City, NY, and Bridie Bommentre, of Valley Forge, PA. McNeill and. Lee will go on to represent New York at the Rose of Tralee Regional Selection in Portlaoise, Ireland from June 2-7, 2011.
The winning Rose from New York will go on to compete at the International Rose of Tralee Festival in Tralee, Ireland in August, 2011.
Caitlin McNeill, 21, is a Brooklyn, New York native. She is currently a senior at St. Joseph's College, where she is about to earn a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Child Study and Speech-Language Pathology.
Caitlin plans to attend graduate school in the fall of 2011 to pursue a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She has been deeply rooted in New York City’s Irish community from a very young age. Caitlin has been studying Irish Step Dancing since the age of 10, and has been sharing her love of Irish dance and music by performing all over the U.S.
She has danced at Town Hall, The Duke Theater, on The Today Show, Fox and Friends, and at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall. Caitlin has also been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine. Over the past five years, she has been dedicated to helping educate young people in New York City by offering classes in schools, libraries, and daycare centers where she teaches not only Irish Step Dancing but its history.
Caitlin has ties to Ireland through her great-grandparents who hail from Counties Kerry and Cork.
Upon receiving her title, Miss O’Neill said, "I am extremely proud and honored to represent my Irish heritage, as well as New York City, as the Big Apple Rose of Tralee. This title will give me the opportunity to meet many great people, form long-lasting memories, and embark on a journey that will provide me with an experience of a lifetime. As the Big Apple Rose of Tralee, I plan to reach out and leave a positive impact on the lives of others, not only throughout this year, but for many years to come.
I am confident I will successfully fulfill my duties as the Big Apple Rose of Tralee and do my very best to represent New York City in Ireland!"
2011 Big Apple Escort, William Lee, III
William Lee III, 28, is from Mineola, New York. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Northeastern University in Boston, MA with a Minor in Mathematics. Bill is a member of the Irish Business Organization, the Ancient Order of the Hibernians (AOH) Division 1 NY County, Irish Network of NYC, the Irish American Bar Association of New York, and the Northeastern University Alumni NYC chapter. He is also a Marching Units Judge for the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Bill is a licensed Personal Banker for JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York, NY, where he works to acquire and deepen relationships for the bank. He enjoys networking, swimming and basketball.
2011 Big Apple Junior Rose, Brontë Steen
Brontë is 14 years old and lives in New Windsor, New York. She is a member of an active-duty Marine Corps family that has been stationed in New York for just over a year. Brontë is homeschooled along with her younger sister Kiersten, and she skipped 8th grade this year in order to begin high school. She has been Irish dancing for over nine years now; and she also enjoys archery, soap casting, reading, and acting in plays. Brontë is an avid writer and on April 1st, she began The Script Frenzy Young Writers Program, where she’ll work towards completing an original screenplay in just thirty days and submit it - not for any award - but for the love of writing. She hopes this might lead to some published work someday!
2011 Big Apple Junior Rose, Molly Bancroft
Molly is 13 years old and lives in Washingtonville, New York. She is in the eighth grade and attends Washingtonville Middle School. She is an active member of both the Girl Scouts; now working towards a Silver Award; and her local church, where she is an altar server. She enjoys going to baseball games and watching classic TV sitcoms, cartoons and black and white movies. She has been Irish dancing since the age of five and has danced at not only US Nationals, but at the All-Irelands, British Nationals, and Scottish Nationals. For the past two years, she has qualified and competed at the World Championships at the Open Championship level.
2011 Big Apple Rosebud, Bridie Bommentre
Bridie Bommentre is 9 years old and is in the fourth grade. She is an Open Championship-level step dancer with the Broesler School of Irish Dance. She has been dancing for six years, and also loves to sing and play the tin whistle. Her Irish heritage is from County Mayo and County Cavan.
2011 Big Apple Rosebud, Meghan Treanor
Meghan Treanor, age 11, lives in New City, New York, and is in the fifth grade at Link Elementary School. Her dad, Brian, hails from Tydavnet, Co. Monaghan. Her maternal grandparents, Eamon and Eva (Sharkey) McGarry, hail from Tibohine, Co. Roscommon. Meghan enjoys sports, and is a member of the Clarkstown Softball League, the Clarkstown Travel Soccer League, and the Rockland GAA. She especially enjoys camogie, and was a member of the Rockland GAA U-10 team that won the 2010 CYC Championships for football and camogie. She enjoys visiting Ireland and spending time with her family.
When asked about her experience with the Big Apple Rose of Tralee, Meghan said she "enjoyed meeting so many new people", but her favorite part was "making new friends with all of the awesome girls"!