|Tom Gallagher, President and Lifetime Member
Tom Gallagher, President and Lifetime Member, ICCNEEach Fall around the Irish Cultural Centre of New England, a cycle of activity stirs up and renews the commitment of investment, volunteerism and dedication it takes to making the ICCNE “a phenomenal display of Irish culture” as described by Tim Murray, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts during one of his visits. This October, Lifetime Members once again gather at the ICCNE thatched-roof cottage to remember the grit and determination it took to turn the 46 acres of stone, trees and hard-packed earth into a landmark of the preservation and celebration of Irish traditions for current and future generations.In a brief documentary film on the ICCNE web site depicting the history of the Irish Cultural Centre, Jack O’Neill of Canton, Massachusetts recalls that looking out over the acres thick with woods and stone “you’d think there’d be nothing to come of it.” But, in 1989, it was the coming together of numerous volunteers for a traditional meitheal, or barn raising, that made the difference in building a solid foundation for this unique place. These volunteers wanted to be sure that this would be a place where the Irish who came and stayed in America could carry on traditions for current and future generations and forge opportunities for Irish Americans to appreciate their families’ emigrant experiences.
“Keeping the welcome going” is a special function of the circle of Lifetime Members at the ICCNE. Tom Gallagher, ICC President, wants people who visit the Centre to sense its humble beginnings in the sincere meeting and greeting extended to the youngest and oldest generations crossing the thresholds of its pub, performance space, classrooms, library, and fields. It is the humble, yet fervent vision of the original founders of ICCNE that has created the momentum for its seasons of growth and development.
To mark the preservation and celebration of Irish culture at the Centre, the 2012 Annual $30,000 Drawing is underway. Individuals who support and appreciate the connections and opportunities offered by the ICCNE array of athletic programs, summer enrichment, specialized courses, ICC Academy classes, lectures, collaborative events, live Irish dance and music are welcome to purchase a $100 Raffle Ticket for the Annual Drawing. Anyone new to the Centre will receive a complimentary 12-month individual membership, a $50 value. Raffle tickets are available now through December 15th. The Grand Prize is $30,000 with more than ten additional chances to win $5,000 and $1,000 plus more. The drawing takes place at the ICCNE Open House, December 15th beginning at 6:00 p.m. To purchase raffle tickets please call the ICCNE at 781-821-8291