Was St. Patrick’s Day moved to March 10th? Not quite, but close enough.
The 11th annual signature fundraiser for the New York Young Leaders came together to host a landmark year for the American Ireland Fund as they celebrated their 40th anniversary in philanthropy and a St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza.
–And just guess who got to join in the gala festivities… Aren’t you green with envy?
Of course, if it wasn’t for the generous and loyal support of sponsors like BMW and my personal friend Jameson (Irish whiskey that is…), the event may not have been such a success.
Actually, who am I kidding? I hear these Irish folk have a bit of luck on their side.
Although this was nothing short of a boozy bash, it was still a party with a purpose, so raise a shot and cheers to the event committee led by Co-chairs, Alex Barry and Brendan Kenny.
This was an opportunity to connect an audience with the overall vision of making a meaningful impact for a modern Irish culture.
VIP attendee, retired professional boxer John Duddy, came out swinging alongside former NFL player Justin Tuck and his elegant wife, Lauran, who were both being recognized with achievement regarding their benevolent program- Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy. As the co-founders, they were presented with the Dylan Smith Community Service Award advocating their movement towards making huge strides in education for underserved children.
One of the major event highlights from the event was the hilarious Actor/Comedian Joel Mchale being presented with the 2016 Irish Spirit Award. Joining a headline worthy list of previous honorees including Late Night funny men, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O’brian, the popular Community star leads notable campaigns for a variety of charities and contributions in the arts, while remaining committed to and rejoicing in his proud Irish heritage.
Although, the famed insult comic has had us laughing at pop culture news since 2014, he took the stage with his usual grand sarcasm and over the top humor satire.
Prior to him hitting the stage, I followed the rainbow straight over to a solid pot of comedy gold when I was able to have a few moments with The Soup host. Check it out!
New Theory: What exactly is your involvement with the American Ireland Fund?
Joel Mchale: You’re looking at it baby! Umm, I’m friends with Conan, thank you! I think I knew about this because of him, but then they asked me and I was like, “I guess they ran out of half Irish people and went through all of the 100 percenters and here I am.” So my involvement is, this is it. I would love to say that I have been helping Irish kids or helping children around the world learn how to read Gaelic, but I have not done that.
NT: What does it mean to you to be honored here tonight for such a prestigious accolade?
JM: I don’t know yet. So far, it’s stellar. We’ll see how much attention they pay to me when I get up there. They better be ready for some jokes about Ireland.
(Then Joel preceded to go ahead on his own… “So how was the X Files?” he sarcastically knew what was coming. I assured him almost, but we weren’t there yet!)
NT: What are your plans for celebrating on the actual day of St. Patty’s Day?
JM: Well, I gave up drinking for lent so I am not drinking, but… I am going to drink tonight! As my Irish friend said to me, “God doesn’t care about that.” And ya know what? Maybe he’s right.
NT: What was it like to a play a role on cult-fan favorite the X Files after a 13 Year break?
JM: Well as you know, my character was pivotal… in the bringing back of the series. They had to ask me first whether or not I wanted the series to come back, and I said (begrudgingly), “Fine. I’ll get David and Gillian to do it.” It worked out great.
(With added distain) Joel sighed, “I was the reason 55 million people tuned it.”
Although I encouraged him not to sell himself short, despite the fact he wanted to make a bet, we thank Joel for bringing a ton of awareness to this great cause!
Listen to our full banter here!