June 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the formal launch of Irish Network Philadelphia. This anniversary provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the success of our first year, and to share with you our plans for the year ahead.
The seed for Irish Network Philadelphia was planted only days before St. Patrick's Day 2010 when Minister Mary Hanafin of the Irish Government hosted a meeting in Philadelphia where she shared the Irish Government's motivation for the establishment of Irish Network USA, and challenged us, a small group of Irish and Irish Americans living in Philadelphia, to form a chapter of the Irish Network in the Philadelphia region.
The small team of Irish and Irish Americans in attendance took on the challenge. IN-Philly, launched by Irish Ambassador, Michael Collins on June 26, 2010 and represented a unique beginning for the Philadelphia Irish as the community began to look forward to the fresh contributions that IN-Philly would make to the Philadelphia Irish community.
Our diverse membership includes people from all walks of life. Our motto, ‘from boots to suits’, joins together the Irish of Philadelphia to enhance, develop, and maintain social, cultural, and economic connections of its membership and of the Irish-community centered in the Philadelphia region. Through networking, social and cultural events supporting art, music and theater, formal ceremonies, and St. Patrick’s Day festivities, IN-Philly has connected many generations of Irish who made Philadelphia their home.
Here is a snapshot of the key IN-Philly events from our first year:
June: Irish Network Philly Launch on the Rooftop of the Phoenix by His Excellency, Michael Collins, which Officially Announces the Birth of our New Organization
July IN-Philly & Brehon Law Society Host Conflict Resolution Symposium
September Irish Network Philly Participates (and Wins) New York Golf Classic
September IN-Philly Hosts Soccer Tournament & Family Fun Event
November IN-Philly Hosts Irish Culture Night to Launch Irish Theater Festival in Philly with Fiach MacChongail from the Abbey Theater, Dublin
November IN-Philly Sponsors Flag & Participates in Flag Raising Ceremony at Irish Famine Memorial Reflecting Upon and Remembering with Reverence our Ancestors
December Holiday Social at Tir Na Nog Supporting Toys for Tots
March IN Philly Marches in Philadelphia’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
And that’s just a snapshot! Our inaugural year was obviously terrific. Connections, both personal and business, were made, friendships were developed, memories were created and the foundation of our organization was laid across the city and suburban Philadelphia. It was a year of listening and exploring for us, and through the many events we hosted, we gathered input from our members on the direction and vision of IN-Philly. One year later, we are proud to say that our ambitions for IN-Philly are very consistent with our founding objectives.
In our second year, we will continue to focus on efforts that have substantial cultural and educational value. Our membership is resolute in the ambition to establish two signature programs in our second year. One such program will focus on community service and volunteering. With a membership as diverse and impressive as ours, we believe we can make a difference in the community. The support of Irish newcomers to Philadelphia is a priority for IN-Philly, we will establish a formal mentorship program that will build on the informal networking that IN-Philly offers new Irish to Philadelphia as they work to make this their new home.
To realize our ambitions, we need your support. Support to us means both membership and involvement. You have invested in IN-Philly already through your 2010/2011-membership year.
To renew your membership, click on this link and log in to your account. If you don’t recall your password, click “Forgot Password”, and it will be emailed to you. If you need assistance, email us on email@example.com
We hope you have benefited in many ways from that investment and that you will renew your $50 annual membership at this time. We want you to be a real part of the success of IN Philly by renewing your membership and giving your time and expertise to implement our two signature programs.
If you have already renewed your members, we thank you. If not, we thank you in advance for your continued support and membership and look forward to working with you to help us deliver our exciting new programs so we can grow and continue our strong impact beyond our launch year.
The Board of Irish Network Philadelphia