Irish American Cultural Institute

Providing leadership and resources to preserve, interpret, and promote Irish and Irish American Cultures

Washington's Irish Ball

We invite you to join us Saturday, February 25th, 2017, 6-11pm, at the Madison Hotel, Morristown, New Jersey.


Every year, the IACI commemorates this unique historical moment with the Washington’s St. Patrick’s Day Ball, fittingly held within a stone’s throw of Washington’s Headquarters National Park in Morristown.  The Washington's St. Patrick's Day Ball is an annual gala to benefit the established educational, arts, and cultural programming of the Irish American Cultural Institute (IACI).  The evening is a blend of history, pageantry, music, and dance. 


The evening begins with a cocktail reception and traditional fife and drum troupe lead the transition from the cocktail hour to the ball room.  The Ball commences with a re-enactment of George Washington’s 1780 St. Patrick's Day proclamation.  Dinner is served and attendees will enjoy dancing to the music of  an Irish-American band providing the perfect blend of Irish traditional jigs and reels and American rock and roll.  

The Washington’s St. Patrick Day Ball is one of the IACI’s most successful fundraising events and provides vital support to the programs and initiatives of the Institute.

This year, there will be two awards -    The Annie Moore Award is bestowed on an individual who has made significant contributions to the Irish and/or Irish American community and legacy.  The  Annie Moore Award is named for the first immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island. The award is bestowed to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment of excellence through business, commerce, education or the arts.

The second, the Eoin McKiernan Award, was established and named for the Founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute.  Dr. Mc Kiernan devoted his life to, and set the standard for, Irish studies. His achievements in and contributions to the world of Irish studies and Irish culture were immeasurable.   The award is given to honor and recognize an individual who  exemplifies those ideals, and whose achievements have made an impact on these cultures.

The 2017 Annie Moore Award will be presented to Patricia Cunningham.   As national account manager for United, the world’s largest airline as of October 2012, Patricia Cunningham oversees leisure accounts throughout the U.S. and is responsible for local marketing activities for Europe including Belfast, Dublin and Shannon.

She started her airline career at Varig Brazilian Airline and served as director of Airline Sales for Virgin Atlantic Airways, before going to Continental Airlines in 1997. In 2011 she was hired by United during the merger process of Continental and United Airlines.

Patricia, who is past president of the Airline Sales Manager Association in New York City, was the first female president of SKAL in New Jersey.

She is a second-generation Irish-American with roots in Roscommon on her father’s side. Of her Irish heritage she says, “My Irish heritage has been a source of immense pride, and has provided me with strong work ethics and a commitment to hard work in both my professional career and personal life.” She resides in Neptune, New Jersey.

The 2017 Eoin McKiernan Award will be presented to Professor Christine Kinealy, w

orld-renowned Irish historian and prolific author, Professor Kinealy is founding director of the Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, a scholarly resource for the study of the Great Hunger. She has also been appointed professor of history at Quinnipiac.

While Kinealy is an authority on Irish history, she was raised in Liverpool and never learned Irish history in school. She says of her youth, “Irish people living in Britain lived under the tremendous strain of trying to remain invisible.” It was not until she began her Ph.D. at Trinity College that the voices of Irish history denied in her youth were heard.

Beginning with her Ph.D dissertation at Trinity College on the Irish workhouse system and continuing with her breakthrough book This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-52 (Irish Post Book of the Year 1995), Kinealy has been an influential authority on Ireland. Her most recent book, Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland: The Kindness of Strangers (2014), sheds a groundbreaking light on some of the many donations that were made to Ireland during the Famine.

As founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, she is responsible for developing new scholarship about this tragic period in Ireland’s history. Her 2014 public programs at IGHI include a significant new exhibition, The Lady Sligo Papers (April), and hosting the XX Ulster American Heritage Symposium (June), the first time this prestigious event has been held in a northern US state.

Of her Irish heritage, Kinealy says: “The Kinealys (and our family spelled it in many ways – my grandparents on this side were illiterate) were from Tipperary; and on my mum’s side, Mayo – Ballycastle and Castlebar. I love Tipperary, but when I return to Mayo, which is often, I feel I am home. Both my parents are now dead – I was the youngest child and, typically, now regret not asking more questions when they were around.”

Irish Contribution To The Revolutionary War


 “On more than one imminent occasion, Congress owed their existence, and America possibly her preservation, to the fidelity and firmness of the Irish.”  George Grieve, Travels in North America, in the Years 1780, 1781 and 1782

 In the midst of the American Revolution, General George Washington issued an official proclamation in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day. In honor of the high percentage of Irish-born and Irish-American troops under his command, the proclamation declared March 17, 1780 a holiday for the Continental Army stationed in Morristown, New Jersey. It was the first holiday granted to the troops in two years.  General Washington awarded this holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence".

People from Ireland were the largest single group to arrive in the thirteen colonies in the seventy-five years leading up to the American Revolution. Having fled an oppressive system at home, these immigrants needed little persuasion to enlist in the cause of American liberty. Many people of Irish ancestry, therefore, are to be found among the officers and leaders of the rebellion. Sources claim anywhere from 35% -66% of the colonial forces were Irish.

 Irish born participants in the Revolution and the birth of this nation include:

• The first Secretary of the Continental Congress and the designer of the Great Seal of the United States, Charles Thomson

• 3 signers of the Declaration of Independence: Matthew Thorton, James Smith and George Taylor; six were of Irish background: Charles Carroll, Thomas Lynch, Thomas McKean, Edward Rutledge and George Read

• 4 signers of the Constitution: Pierce Butler, Thomas Fitzsimmons, James McHenry and William Patterson

• Printer of the Declaration of Independence, John Dunlop

• The father of the American Navy, John Barry

• 5 Aides decamp of General Washington

• Sharpshooter Tim Murphy of Morgan’s Rifles

• Sixteen generals were from Ireland, including Generals Moylan, Montgomery, Knox

• The Pennsylvania Line was also known as the Line of Ireland

• First units to be sent by France were the Irish Brigades under Walsh, Dillon and Roche

• State governors, Thomas Burke of North Carolina and John McKinly of South Carolina; first governor of Pennsylvania – George Bryan

• Fedanus Burke, one of the most notable figures in revolutionary South Carolina.

• Washington’s intelligence men: Hercules Mulligan and John Honeyman

• Architect of the White House, James Hoban

 Thus, the Irish were an integral part in the fight against the British during the American War of Independence. They are rarely recognized for their contributions.

 “May the Kingdom of Ireland merit a stripe in the American Standard” – Marquis de Lafayette, 1779 on the contributions of the Irish to the American Revolution

Table & Ticket Options


Founding Fathers Table:  $4000

Includes premier seating for table of 10 and a Gold Page ad in the Dinner Journal, recognition at event and in program, recognition in Eire-Ireland


President's Table:  $2000

Includes premier seating for table of 10 and a Silver Page ad in the Dinner Journal, recognition at event and in program, recognition in Eire-Ireland


Table:  $1600

Includes seating for table of 10 and special recognition at the event.


Individual Ticket:  $175

Includes cocktail reception, dinner, open bar and entertainment.

Table & Tickets
Names of Attendees

Sponsorship Opportunities


Gala Sponsor:  $10,000 - Two Available.  Includes premier seating for table of 10, special recognition on all press releases and at the event, outside back cover ad in the Dinner Journal.


Cocktail Hour Sponsor:  $5000 - Includes a Gold Page ad in the Dinner Journal,


Entertainment Sponsor:  $5000 - Includes a Silver Page ad in the Dinner Journal.


Invitation Sponsor:  $2500 - Includes a Silver Page ad in the Dinner Journal.


Centerpiece Sponsor:  $1000 - Includes a B&W ad in the Dinner Journal.

Table Favor Sponsor:  $500 - include a half page ad in the Dinner Journal


In addition, all sponsors receive the following:  recognition in evening program, company logo on sponsor signage at event, recognition in Eire-Ireland, logo prominently placed on IACI website for one year, recognition in IACI e-news.


Commemorative Dinner Journal


Show your support for the IACI and the 2017 Annie Moore Award recipient with an advertisement or congratulatory message in the Dinner Journal.


Back cover:  $1000 Inside front or back cover:  $800 
Gold Page:  $450 Silver Page:  $300
Full Page (B&W):  $150  Half Page (B&W):  $75

All verbiage/ graphics are black & white.  Full page size is 4.25 X 7 .  Ads should be submitted in jpeg or PDF format to Deadline for receipt of ad copy is February 5, 2017.

Journal Ad
Message to Appear in Ad