Lynch feted at record-breaking Ireland Fund gala

More than 1,000 guests gathered on Thursday, November 16 for The Ireland Fund’s 36th annual Boston Gala at the Westin Boston Waterfront.
A record-breaking $2.6 million, the largest amount ever achieved at the Boston Gala, was raised to support non-profit organizations across the island of Ireland and around the world.
The 2017 Boston Gala was co-chaired by David Greaney, president and CEO of Synergy Investments and Robert E. Griffin, U.S. Head of Capital Markets and President of The New England Area at Newmark Knight Frank.
The 2017 gala honored noted business leader and philanthropist Peter S. Lynch, president of The Lynch Foundation and Vice Chairman of Fidelity Management and Research Company.
The invocation was delivered by His Eminence Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Preceding his prayer, the Cardinal thanked The Ireland Funds for its critical work in Ireland and its support of worthwhile non-profit projects in Greater Boston.
After dinner, 12-year-old Cian Michael Smith, an uilleann pipes player, accompanied by his two first cousins on the fiddle and melodeon respectively, played a lively traditional Irish music medley. The trio, all from tiny Ballymacarbry in Ireland’s County Waterford, opened with a slow air which quickly turned into an up-beat jig, then a reel, at which point the crowd clapped and stomped their feet and Cian and his cousin Brid step danced.
Jack Connors, the 2015 Gala honoree, introduced Peter Lynch. Touching on the breadth of the Lynch Foundation’s impact, Connors recounted many instances of The Lynch Foundation’s social investments in the areas of education and health care, both in the US and Ireland including: Boston College’s Lynch School of Education to the Catholic Schools Foundation providing scholarships to needy students to attend parochial schools which boast high graduation and college admission rates; to health care initiatives, to projects in Ireland such as the restoration of centuries old Georgian structures, and establishing new athletic fields, a community center, and others.
Vice President of Major Gifts and New England Director Steve Greeley closed the evening by expressing The Ireland Funds’ deep appreciation to its donors, guests and Peter Lynch and encouraged everyone to join popular local Irish band Devri for the post-gala celebration.