Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Irish Flag Raising Ceremony and Wreath Laying Ceremony in New Bedford

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Flag Raising Ceremony - Members of the local delegation, city officials and members of the Irish-American community will participate in a ceremony to raise the Irish flag at New Bedford City Hall. The flag raising ceremony is in recognition of the many achievements, contributions, and successes of Americans of Irish decent as well as the Irish in America. ...read more

FRIENDLY SONS OF SAINT PATRICK – IRISH SPEAKER SERIES CONTINUES WITH DON CUDDY

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The second in the series of Irish-themed lectures at the Whaling Museum is scheduled for February 11 at 8 p.m. as part of AHA night - Don Cuddy,  a native of Dublin and a staff writer at the Standard-Times in New Bedford will be this month’s guest speaker. Combining a love of the sea with a strong interest in history, particularly Irish history, Don joined the crew of the Irish Tall Ship ‘Jeanie Johnston’ in October 2003 for its return voyage to Ireland, departing from St. John’s, Newfoundland. The trip across the stormy North Atlantic took two weeks. The replica of a Famine-era ship that made thirteen voyages to North America carrying emigrants fleeing ‘An Gorta Mor’ (The Great Hunger), the modern ‘Jeanie Johnston’ was built to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the famine which drove two million people from their homes. Don’s lecture will include some background on the Famine and the ‘coffin ships’ upon which so many perished trying to reach the safety of the New World, as well as an account of his visit to Newfoundland and his own experience on the high seas aboard a square-rigged sailing ship. ...read more

Operation Turkey 2009 a success!

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The turkeys were generously donated by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick - Operation Turkey 2009, spearheaded by New Bedford’s Veteran’s Agent Donat “Dan” Le Blanc in collaboration with the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 499, The Veterans Transition House and students of the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School provided over 350 Thanksgiving meals to area veterans and their families. As the city’s Veteran’s Agent, Mr. Le Blanc provides information on benefits and administers the MGL Chapter 115 financial assistance fund for Veterans and their widows who live in New Bedford. He is fully aware of the need for this project. In 2002, he solicited the aid of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 499 to deliver Thanksgiving meals to local veterans who, in turn, arranged for the meals to be cooked and prepared by the staff and residents of the Veterans Transition House. This year, Operation Turkey was joined by students of the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Skills USA “American Spirit” team led by juniors Sarah Lopes and Jonathan Alves and sophomore Kassandra Pombo. Enlisting the aid of the school’s Culinary Dept. team members prepared and cooked 40 turkeys which amounted to 800 pounds of turkey meat. The turkeys were generously donated by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. The prepared turkey meat, accompanied by gallons of turkey gravy, was delivered to the Veterans Transition House where staff and residents prepared mashed potatoes, vegetables, and cranberry sauce. VTH staff person Gene McCoy, cooked additional turkeys and oversaw the preparation of the rest of the meals helped by Board of Directors Member and veteran Rick Brown. The overall operation at the VTH was under the direction of the VTH Program Director, Susan Fonteneau-Nicolan. All of whom are veterans of several Operation Turkeys. The project started out in 2002 when volunteers in nine vehicles delivered thirty meals with one piece of pie to area veterans, widows of veterans, and their families. Today, over seventy-five volunteers from all ages and all walks of life joined the members of New Bedford’s Chapter 499 of the Vietnam Veterans of America in preparing and delivering twelve times that number of meals and each meal was accompanied by a full pie, stated Dan Le Blanc. These volunteers, too numerous to be named, included members of the U. S. Army, City officials, both active and retired members of the New Bedford Police Dept., the School Dept. and residents of New Bedford and surrounding towns. Of note were youngsters Chloe and Kiley Liete who were accompanied by their dad, Russ. This family has participated in several Operation Turkeys and is sure to return next year. Newcomers this year were Elaine Gizzi and brother Bill Golenski. Elaine said, “I have donated to veterans causes nationally in the past but I’d rather donate to a local organization such as the VTH.” ...read more

Friendly Sons adopt fleet of feet as New Bedford Half Marathon sponsor

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Dan McCarthy, 32, lives in New Bedford and works in financial services. But as one of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, he is also co-chairman — along with Steve Beauregard — of the 2009 New Bedford Half Marathon race committee. With the committee that organized the New Bedford Half Marathon calling it quits in 2008 after 31 years, and the race's future uncertain, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick stepped in to save the day. Q: Why did the Friendly Sons decide to take over the half marathon? A: We took over the race because we saw it as an opportunity to help us increase what we like to do in the community, which is spread our goodwill. With 31 years under its belt, it's an event a lot of people care about. Q: What will be new about the race this year? A: We're really trying to have local merchants and restaurants embrace the race as a true value-add to the New Bedford experience. With the Restaurant Run following the race it's an opportunity for people who come downtown on race day to see a lot more than just a road race. Q: So you're really reaching out to the business community? A: Correct. We were reaching out and we found an ideal partner in Eagle Industries. I think they are making a solid stand to be part of this community. They are a large employer in the South End of New Bedford and are proud of the work that they do. They were reaching out to get more involved also, and it just fit, hand-in-glove. Q: How have you been preparing for the race? A: We've tried to step it up with our marketing. We've sent teams of Friendly Sons to other races throughout New England to do literature drops, meet race directors and introduce ourselves into the running community, and we're already seeing the benefit of that. As of the last day of February we're tracking an online registration rate of some 500 more runners than had pre-registered by March 1 last year. We hope to have as many as 2,600 runners. This story appeared on the Standard Times website at: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090312/NEWS/903120358 ...read more

New Bedford Half Marathon can expect some guest appearances from national and local celebrities

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on New Bedford Half Marathon can expect some guest appearances from national and local celebrities

Runners and their supporters of this year’s New Bedford Half Marathon can expect some guest appearances from some national and local celebrities beginning with pre-registration at the YMCA on Saturday afternoon, the day before the March 15th race. Rick and Dick Hoyt of Team Hoyt and Biggest Loser celebrities Marc and Jay Kruger will be running the 13.1 mile race. They will also meet and greet runners and their families at pre-registration at the YMCA on Saturday afternoon. And, two-time Boston Marathon winner and current New Bedford Half Marathon record holder Geoff Smith will also be playing a role in the 32nd running of the Half Marathon. ...read more

Friendly Sons to run New Bedford Half Marathon

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on Friendly Sons to run New Bedford Half Marathon
NEW BEDFORD — The future of the New Bedford Half Marathon, one of the city's signature events, is now in the hands of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick. "We know we can do it," Friendly Sons president Chris Donnelly said. "We have the people and we have the contacts. Now we will sit down with them to work out a strategy for next year. This race has been run so well for so long we felt it would be a shame just to let it go." The all-volunteer race committee — most of whom have been involved with the half marathon since its first year — announced in 2007 on the 30th anniversary of the race that they were seeking to pass the torch. When no one emerged to take over responsibility, the prospects for the race's future seemed uncertain. But after all they had invested in the event, committee members didn't want to see the race die, so members returned in 2008 for one last time. Staging the race, rated as one of the top five half marathons in the country by Runner's World magazine, is a huge undertaking and has become almost a year-round activity for the small committee. It takes almost $50,000 to fund the event, with all of the funds coming from the $35 entry fee. From prize money to publicity, T-shirts to paper cups, Porta-Johns to liability insurance, there are myriad costs associated with race organization. Last year it cost the committee $14,800 for the police detail alone. One hundred city police officers are required to patrol the course, a larger commitment of resources than that required for the Portuguese feast at Madeira Field. In spite of the difficulties, the race has not only survived but has continued to be profitable. Its continued success has in large part been due to the efforts of the hundreds of volunteers who turn out year after year, to set up the course, process the entries, man the water stops and prepare the famous post-race meal: chowder and fish sandwiches. "We're very excited about this. We think it's good for us and good for the city," Steve Beauregard of the Friendly Sons said. "We met with the race committee on Monday night and 70 of our guys showed up. I think they were impressed by that. "The race director, Jim Ryan, made a passionate presentation about what the race means to them. We believe that this is good for us and good for the city." The Friendly Sons became involved with the race for the first time this year when Sons' members manned a water stop at the 10-mile mark on East Rodney French Boulevard, beside the Celtic cross memorial erected there by the Friendly Sons. "I think that watching the race from that perspective convinced them that this decision would be to their advantage," said Dave Branco, one of the key organizers from the outgoing committee. Branco said his committee felt confident they are leaving the event in good hands. "They have a good organization with more than 300 members and they want to do what's best for the city," he said. "They have the support of the mayor and the City Council and what impressed us the most was that they have that youth and energy that the race needs." Mayor Scott W. Lang said he was pleased with the decision that ensures that the city continues to host the event. "The half marathon is one of the premiere half marathons in the nation. We're very excited about the Friendly Sons partnership with the outgoing race committee and I am confident in their ability to continue the New Bedford Half Marathon tradition — a top notch race that attracts accomplished athletes from across the country and globe," he said. The 2009 race will be very similar to previous years, Donnelly said. Members of the current committee "are going to be with us next year in an advisory capacity," he said. "We want to pick their brains and find out how it works. After that we may look to add to the race in some ways. We'd like to attract a major sponsor and since we're Irish and it's in March, maybe we will develop an Irish theme, get some Irish runners from Providence College. We'd like to promote downtown also and perhaps get a big tent for a party afterwards. But we're not looking to make money from this. All of the proceeds will go towards our endowment." With major sponsors in the 1980s such as Bank Of Boston offering significant prize money, the half marathon once attracted elite runners every year such as Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway who set a world record here in 1989. Even without sponsorship the race's popularity has endured and it continues to attract close to 2,000 runners every year. Contact Don Cuddy at doncuddy@s-t.com This story first appeared on the Standard Times website at: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080711/SPORTS/807110354 ...read more

Buncrana’s American trip ‘a great success’

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Buncrana Mayor Paul Bradley, who took part in an historic cross-border trade delegation to New Bedford, Massachusetts on St Patrick's weekend, says the trip was "an education to us all" and a great success. Firstly, he explained the many similarities between New Bedford and Derry/Buncrana. ...read more

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, one would expect our local Friendly Sons of St. Patrick to throw open the doors for a true Irish celebration.

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, one would expect our local Friendly Sons of St. Patrick to throw open the doors for a true Irish celebration.

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, one would expect our local Friendly Sons of St. Patrick to throw open the doors for a true Irish celebration.  For sixty-seven years, the Friendly Sons have done just that with their annual dinner-dance as their way of celebrating the Feast of St. Patrick. ...read more