The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, Essex division, is celebrating its 50th year and as current President, I would like to re-introduce everyone to our club. We are an Irish/American cultural organization and our goal is to preserve our Irish traditions and heritage and share them with the community at large.
As our Former President Lawrence Lonergan often says, “We are men of service”. This is a statement of fact. We are a registered 501(c)3 charity organization, continually working to help our communities. We run a food and coat drive for the local community centers, a Toy Drive during Christmas and the holiday Season. In memory of a former member we host the Frank Schott Blood Drive every November, consistently raising over 125 pints of Blood and thus becoming one of the largest blood drives in the state. For the past 12 years, past President Kevin Kinney has also organized a Childhood Cancer Fundraising event to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. As of September 2017, our St. Baldrick’s event is nearing the million-dollar mark in funds raised, benefitting pediatric cancer research .
With help from a special group of women, the Shillelagh Club hosts Luck O’ the Pup, a pet adoption event raising funds for local no-kill shelters, and finding forever homes for homeless animals. This year we will also begin a school backpack program for less fortunate children from the West Orange school district.
While the Shillelagh Membership may host and spearhead these events, and many more, we do not do it alone. We are often assisted by several other charity minded Irish organizations like the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Women of Irish Heritage and the Emerald Society to name a few. Together we all strive to be leaders in our community and provide a welcoming environment for all.
For individuals that may be interested, the Essex Shillelagh Pipe and Drum, practice every Thursday at 7:30 pm. Beginners and new members welcome.
It is my honor to invite you to the ever improving, AND YES…OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, PUB at the CLUB. Come for the entertainment. Come for a Pint. Come for the best burger around. Come and say Hello. We are happy to have you.
Pat O’ Rourke
President of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Foundation.