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Saturday, March 15, 2014
Syracuse St. Patrick's Parade
at 12 noon
Poster by John Francis McCarthy
Posters Available for Sale at:
2104 WEST GENESEE ST
SYRACUSE, NY 13219-1616
Phone: (315) 487-5172
March 9, 2014 - Fund Raiser at Kitty Hoynes [more info]
March 12, 2014 - CNY ICAI Spring Perception Program [more info] March 14, 2014 - Stripe Painting/Dinner March 15, 2014 - Mass, Parade March 30, 2014 - St. Baldrick’s Day
As we celebrate the 32nd Syracuse St. Patrick's Parade in 2014, we salute the 32 counties of Ireland. Each Irish county is rich with its own unique beauty, tradition and culture. Each contributed some of its heritage – notably the strength and love of its people — to life in Central New York.
It is fitting that, as we gather for our 32nd march down "Nancy Duffy Lane," we take a moment to salute the counties that started it all.
We embrace each and every one of those counties with music, marchers and floats paying tribute to communities from Antrim to Kerry, Donegal to Cork, and Mayo to Dublin.
One day in the late 1970's, Kathleen Kelly had a discussion with the then US Representative, James Hanley, asking how she could "give something back" after all she had blessed to receive since emmigrating from Ireland several years before. Representative Hanley told her of a police officer, Denis Mulcahy, from New York City who had begun a great effort to give the children of war-torn Ireland a respite in America for several weeks each year. Kathleen immediately knew that was her calling - and so the story goes. Kathleen has been the heart and soul of Project Children in Syracuse for the past 35 years. During that time, more than 9,000 Irish boys and girls have had the privilege of visiting this region. A dream was nurtured, bring the kids here, boys and girls from both sides - Protestant and Catholic. Let them play together for several weeks each summer and maybe, just maybe, a long-lasting change can occur. It worked! The children whose hearts were changed are now in charge of Northern Ireland. Change has occurred and Project Children is ending after the summer of 2014. We have honored Kathleen in the past, as a matter of fact she has been a Grand Marshal twice. She told us, in a way only Kathleen can, she is NOT doing it again. We could not let this successful social program end without some sort of celebration by the parade.
For one of our 2014 Grand Marshals, we are honoring ALL THE HOST PARENTS who participated in Project Children.
Our next Grand Marshal this year is again an organization. I have a copy of a letter with me today, indicating the birth of the parade. It began in a newsroom in Shoppingtown. The letter is dated September 13, 1982, and addressed to the then, Investigator Richard Walsh (one of our former Grand Marshals). The letter requests that he attend a planning session at Coleman's. It is signed by the "Parade Committee" but we all know, it was none other than Nancy Duffy. Shortly thereafter, phones began to ring, "How do I sign up?" "Where do I line up?" Nancy was the only person who could answer those pressing questions.
Without this Grand Marshal, you might not even know there was a parade - at least you would not be able to watch it on television. 2014 will mark the 30th time the parade has been broadcast. NewsChannel 9 WSYR has become a community partner, publicizing, raising awareness of this grand event and its history. Jeff Mercer, a producer at NewsChannel 9, is a member of the parade's Board of Directors to guide our committee to enhance the viewing experience for our television audience. Dan Cummings is our wonderful master of ceremonies at our annual pre-parade dinner and has been one of the television personalities broadcasting the parade for many years. In addition, there have been three NewsChannel 9 General Managers who have championed this great community event: Steve Kronquest, Steve Kimatian, and Theresa Underwood. They have all believed that the parade is a vital part of this community. That local commitment continues today with Nexstar Broadcasting. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Tim Fox who has been there since day one, and all the employees of NewsChannel 9 who have helped produce this great event, the engineers, and some of the camera people who have stood outside in the cold, rain, snow, sleet & hail to make sure this production is as good as it can possibly be.
We are proud and honored to present NewsChannel 9 as our Grand Marshal this year - celebrating their 30th year broadcasting the parade.
OUR GAEL OF THE YEAR FOR 2014
This honor goes to a family-owned and operated business which began in 1948. They have been there every step of the way for the parade since day one! They have happily, and many times because of our procrastination, quickly, filled our orders and made us look like "Heroes," which sometimes, believe me, isn't easy. This father-son owned business have been wonderful to deal with and we cannot say enough about how important their contributions are to the parade. Parade fans know we give awards for outstanding floats and several different musical categories. Those who work so hard to participate in the parade deserve something to show for all their effort, so we give them plaques beautifully produced by our Gael of the Year - The Pen & Trophy Center, owned and operated by Dan Monti and Dan Monti, Jr.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig! (All the blessings of Patrick!)
The Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade began in 1982, founded by an amazing woman, Nancy Duffy, and a small group of her friends. Thirty-two years later, the Parade is stronger than ever—a grand tribute to the Irish of Central New York.
Since the Parade's inception, we have been able to help support Project Children, founded by another outstanding woman, Kathleen Kelly. Project Children is coming to a close after the summer of 2014. It is one of the few social programs that is a success! Peace has come to Ireland and the children no longer need a respite. While thousands of children have come to the USA for a much-needed rest from the war, the lessons they learned here, Catholics and Protestants living in harmony - they have taken back to their homeland - and change has occurred. Congratulations to Project Children, particularly the gracious and generous host families, without whom this change never would have occurred.
In 2005, we began the St. Patrick Hunger Project, to help feed those in need in Central New York. Since 2005, the need for nutritious food is now affecting our middle-class neighborhoods and senior citizens on fixed incomes. In 2014, it is our friends and neighbors who are suffering - most likely in silence. The Hunger Project is counting on the most generous people and businesses in the nation to assist us in ending this plight. Project Children succeeded and so can we!!! There is a donation button on our website and we will be posting appearances where we will be collecting actual donations of food. If you would like to volunteer, please contact us - we can use all the help we can get! Thank you.