Craobh Dugan’s Annual Meeting Celebrates Success

Oct 23, 2018, UTICA NY  Progress, Plans…and a whole lot of fun!

Every year in October, Craobh Dugan members gather to eat, drink, dance, play music, and be generally merry. And we manage to squeeze a meeting in there too.

Looking back over last year, we had some wonderful successes to celebrate:

  • Our members helped plan and played music for the second annual Bloomsday Pub Crawl in June.
  • We performed The Irish and the Erie live program six times at area libraries, a museum, and at a Utica College history symposium.
  • We recorded and released a CD of The Irish and the Erie program.
  • We hosted 25 traditional open sessions at two local pubs.
  • Our dance group taught weekly ceili dance classes.
  • Our language officer Tom Malley taught Irish Language classes at the community colleges as well as at workshops.
  • We hosted a small-venue concert with professional Irish musicians Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh.
  • Our musicians gave nine performances in addition to The Irish and the Erie.
  • We hosted our three annual social events:  the Annual General Meeting, the Annual Appreciation Dinner, and the Annual summer picnic.
  • We helped plan and set up the Cultural Building, performed on the Traditional Stage and hosted an open session at the Great American Irish Festival in July.

And looking ahead to the coming year we have some new projects in the works.

  • The Great American Irish Festival Committee has asked Craobh Dugan to organize the Irish Cultural Building at next year’s festival. That means it’s time for us all to put our creative thinking caps on this winter. We have plenty of time to come up with some impressive ways to highlight Irish language, history, dance, and music for festival goers.
  • We’re looking for your unique travel stories and tips to create a booklet to sell online as a fundraiser. If you’ve discovered some out of the way place either in Ireland, the USA, or elsewhere that lovers of Irish culture would like, please share it with us. We want the inside scoop and off-the-beaten-path tales that our own members have found. And if you have photos to go along with your stories, all the better.
  • We’d like to offer our Irish music at more local elder care facilities. So if you have a connection at an area nursing home or assisted living center, please mention us to them. Our music seems to be most popular in March, but Irish music is just as fun any time of year.
  • Our small-venue concerts have been lovely, so we’d like to offer a few more of those in the coming year.
  • The Irish Cultural Center of the Mohawk Valley has made much progress and will definitely open before another year has passed. We’re looking forward to planning some great events there.
  • And we elected officers for the coming year, which ended up being all the same officers we had last year. They are: Chris Hoke, Chair; Skip Mansur, Vice Chair; Colleen Martin, Secretary; Mike Hoke, Treasurer; Sue Romero, Public Relations Officer; Tom Malley, Language Officer; Mike Carroll, Auditor; Margaret Carroll, Youth Officer; Gracie Schell, Delegate; Tom Malley, Delegate.

And before adjourning the meeting and beginning the music, we took a moment to remember our dear members who passed away this year. Both Jim O’Looney and Carl Sturtevant were long-time Craobh Dugan members and served generously as chairmen of the branch.

For more information and to contact Craobh Dugan with your ideas for next year, click here.

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