A sell-out crowd of more than 400, many clad in green attire, attended the March 12 Saint Patrick’s Day Irish Hooley at the Basilica School of St. Mary gymnasium to celebrate all things Irish and raise a record $9,000 for local charity Christ House.
Organized by the Alexandria Ancient Order of Hibernians, the event was a fundraiser for Christ House, a program of diocesan Catholic Charities that provides food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless and clothing to those in need. A $9,000 check — the most ever raised by the Hooley — was presented to Sister Aniliza Juan, Christ House’s volunteer coordinator, on behalf of the Basilica and the Hibernians.
The afternoon featured performances by local Irish musician Pat Garvey, the Boyle School of Irish Dance, the O’Neill James School of Irish Dance and the City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums. Catering was provided by Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub and featured traditional Irish fare, including shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and corned beef and cabbage.
Father Edward Hathaway, who greeted the sold-out crowd with a prayer, and Bishop Michael Burbidge were on hand for the festivities which included a silent auction and raffle.