Saturday October 7, 2023
The Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation, the founding organization of the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library, is coming up on our major charity event of the year, the Anam Cara (Soul Friend) Gala to be held on Saturday October 7th from 7 to 10 PM with cocktail hour from 6 to 7 PM.
We’re looking forward to having you attend this fundraising effort, which supports our mission and goals. Join for what promises to be a great night of dinner, live music and entertainment to showcase what we’re all about, a silent auction, laughter and craic, and a gathering of friends old and new!
There will be two ticket types:
– ICLF Member Ticket – $150
– ICLF Non-Members – $200 (Save $50 on your ticket price by becoming a member HERE)
No physical tickets will be provided, names of all attendees will be added to a list.
NO REFUNDS will be given. Attire is formal or cocktail appropriate clothing.
ICLF Member – $150 per person
ICLF Non-Member – $200 per person
Corporate and Community sponsorship opportunities under awardee information
Your tax-deductible donation to the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library will improve access to dynamic Irish culture, arts, and education for people of all ages and backgrounds and will ensure the survival of our beloved Center for many years to come.
Introducing our two 2023 Anam Cara Awardees
Ron has been reporting the news to Arizonans for more than four decades. He joined Fox 10, then known as KOOL-TV, in 1982. Today he co-anchors FOX 10 AZAM weekday mornings.
Ron began his TV news career after graduating from the University of Washington in Seattle. He’d been on the job just a few days when the Mount Saint Helens volcano exploded, covering his city in volcanic ash! It was quite a start in news reporting, and he hasn’t slowed down since. He is also the recipient of the Rocky Mountain Emmy’s Silver Circle Award for more than 25 years of service to the broadcasting industry and the community.
He is involved in some of the Valley’s biggest charity events, including the JDRF walk to cure diabetes, and the annual VNSA book sale, which has raised millions for charity. That event has been going for more than 65 years, and Ron has been part of it for more than half that time. His love of reading extends to the classroom, and every year he reads to Valley school kids hoping to inspire them to become better readers. He also teaches a Sunday school class and helps coach his grandson’s youth football team.
Ron is very active on social media and hopes you’ll join him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. When he’s not on-air or online, he loves to go hiking, skiing, or working out. He loves to travel and learn as much as he can about our country’s history. In fact, he’s been to 49 of the 50 U.S. states. He and his wife Renae have three kids, and seven grandchildren, and he can’t wait to spend time with them! Please join Ron and the entire morning news team on FOX 10 AZAM 4:30 to 10AM.
Leonard “Len” Wood
Len’s career in bagpiping started at age 12 in the Adirondack Pipe Band, Ft. Edward, New York and has progressed through a dozen bands across the country. Most recently, he led a pipe band, the Hugh O’Conor Memorial Pipe Band, to Northern Ireland to compete in the All-Ireland Pipe Band Championships. Through the years, Len has taught bagpipes to well over 200 players, many of them making the trip to Ireland for the All-Ireland this year in 2023.
In his career, he worked as a Region Manager for the Hershey Chocolate Company and Bel Cheese USA. Len served in the U. S. Navy as a Sonar Technician. While stationed in San Diego, he met his wife of 35 years, Kathy Shappee Wood. Kathy too was a bagpiper and member of the Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band.
In 1998 they moved to Phoenix and started taking on a role in the Irish Community. Len was the first Piping Instructor for the Irish Cultural Center Academy, a co-chair of the Irish Festival, President and a Director of ERIN “Executive Resources for Irish Networking” (now known as Irish Network Arizona), founder and chair of A Piping Weekend, held in December since 2005, and continues to teach Piping to many of the fire departments in the Valley. Len is a guest player with the De La Salle Pipe Band in Waterford, Ireland, and can be counted on to play for functions at the ICLF and community. Len is a strong advocate for all things Irish!
The evenings entertainment by Michael Londra
Michael Londra is an Emmy®-nominated, internationally acclaimed Irish singer, producer, and TV host from the opera capital of Ireland, a small town on the Southeast coast called Wexford. His big break came when he was cast as the lead tenor in Riverdance on Broadway and subsequently on the U.S. National tour of the same show, which he toured for 2 years.
Michael’s first solo album “Celt” was produced by acclaimed producer, Steve Skinner, who co-produced the Grammy-nominated soundtrack of RENT. Released in 15 countries worldwide, it reached Number 1 in the World Music Charts. In 2011 Michael produced a concert special for PBS called Beyond Celtic, which earned him two Emmy® nominations.
Over the past 9 years, Michael built an annual hosted tour of Ireland for fans, which has led to the current television series Ireland with Michael. Season #1 first aired on Public Television in 2021. The show follows the singer on his travels around the Emerald Isle showing off the country he loves the only way he knows how, through music. The first 3 seasons of Ireland with Michael have been a breakaway success, airing over 27,000 times on Public Television stations across the country into 97% of all U.S. households. Season #4 is scheduled to air in January 2024.
A live music concert based off the TV show, called Ireland with Michael LIVE, visits theatres and performing arts centers across the United States annually in March and December. As a concert performer Michael is highly acclaimed. Over the past few years alone he has toured his shows in 20 countries, as both producer and lead singer. He has been a featured guest singer with Irish supergroups De Dannan and Téada. In 2013 he performed with Judy Collins for the Kennedy family at the JFK 50 celebrations to honor President John F. Kennedy’s trip to Ireland in 1963. His version of Danny Boy has been viewed 11 million times on YouTube.
His company VenuWorks Theatricals formed with Steve Peters produced the US tour of NOËL the Musical in 2018 and their current production of the MGM movie musical, Summer Stock, for the stage debuted at Goodspeed Opera House in summer 2023, to huge critical acclaim.
Michaelis a proud advocate of the charity Concern Worldwide, which through several CD releases and his high-profile visits to Haiti, Michael has raised considerable awareness for and helped bring the issue of poverty and hunger to the attention of the public. He, along with authors Colm Toibin, Eoin Colfer and TV presenter Dermot O Leary is an official ambassador of his home county, Wexford.