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2018 Year in Review

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Members of the La Crosse-Bantry Friendship Association line up prior to the start of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Coulee Hoolie Ceili

On March 24, the La Crosse-Bantry Friendship Association presented its 3rd Annual Coulee Hoolie Ceili. This year’s event was very successful and raised $3,000 to be shared between two wonderful non-profit charities, Sacred Ground of La Crosse (which provides many services for the homeless and those less fortunate) and Cork ARC Cancer Support House in our sister city Bantry, Ireland (which provides support and services to cancer patients and their families). It was a wonderful evening of dance, music and camaraderie.

(Save the date for the 4th annual Coulee Hoolie Ceili, March 30, 2019!)

After LBFA’s successful 3rd Annual Coulee Hoolie Ceili Fundraiser in March, members gathered with staff and volunteers from Sacred Grounds (one of two non-profit charities to receive funds from the event) for a formal check presentation on April 26, 2018 at Sacred Ground’s new 5th Avenue location. Reporters from two local TV Stations covered the event where Lynn West-LBFA President presented Irene TenEyck- Co-Founder of Sacred Grounds with a check for $1,500.00.

Non-profit charity, Cork ARC Cancer Support House-The Bungalow in Bantry, Ireland also received a check for $1,500.00 and followed up with posts in two Irish publications: Southern Star and The Grapevine.

Lip Sync Battle-Bantry, Ireland

Cork ARC Cancer Support our 2018 Bantry recipient of funds from the 3rd annual Coulee Hoolie Ceili coupled with Bantry Hospice for a joint fundraiser on September 21 and 22. LBFA supported the cause with a full-page ad in the event program promoting the Sister City connection between La Crosse and Bantry.

53rd Annual International Banquet

Members of the La Crosse-Bantry Friendship Association participated in the 53rd Annual International Banquet at UW-L on April 14, 2018 presenting a lobby display sharing our connection as a Sister City to Bantry Ireland. Attendance was good, despite a surprise spring snowstorm, and everyone enjoyed a wonderful night of fine entertainment and delicious international cuisine.

Lynn West (President) and Heather Dutcher (Vice President) with the LBFA display at UW-La Crosse

Brat Barn

On Saturday, May 26, 2018 LBFA members grilled their way to success with a Brat Barn Fundraiser at Festival Foods in the Village. Despite soaring temperatures in the 90’s, members enjoyed sharing information about Bantry with customers and in the end raised more than $500.00!

Katherine Kenimer, Lynn West, Carla Pena and Linda Pfaff with the unidentified Leprechaun

People Fest

LBFA joined fellow Irish Brigade members from Shamrock and Irishfest to celebrate the first People Fest Event July 29th at Riverside Park. Many organizations set up displays, performers presented and citizens gathered to honor our diversified community.

(Pictured L to R) Barrie Monks, Kathy O’Driscoll, Linda Pfaff, Lynn West & Romeo, Linda Boyle, Heather Dutcher, Mary Monks, Bill O’Driscoll and Kathleen Ryan

Oktoberfest 2018

Members of LBFA and fellow Sister City organizations joined La Crosse Mayor Kabat to celebrate the 58th year of Oktoberfest during the Maple Leaf parade. You may also have seen a familiar face or two in the Southside ticket windows as several LBFA members volunteered for front gate sales during the fest.

Irishfest 14

Serving delicious Bantry Bay mussels has traditionally been an important Irishfest fundraiser for LBFA when we offer a taste of our Sister City’s most famous product. 2018 proved to be our best fundraiser ever. Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Bantry Bay Premium Seafoods, Rogge’s and Festival Foods, LBFA raised over $1,100 in donations that will be used on projects to further enhance our global ties with Bantry.

Global Initiatives

Members of the La Crosse-Bantry Friendship Association joined members from Irish Fest and La Crosse Shamrock Club and set up table displays promoting each organization at the Kick Off event for Global Initiatives Week on Friday, November 2nd at North Woods International School. Attendees enjoyed an informational taste of Bantry and all things Irish presented in true Irish Brigade collaborative fashion.

Global Initiatives Week continued through the following week and LBFA sponsored an event on Wednesday, November 7th at the Eagles Club. Kenneth L. Shonk, Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor of World History and Social Studies Education at UW-La Crosse presented a talk entitled “Northern Ireland From The Troubles To Brexit.” The program was well attended by many individuals from the community including LBFA members.

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