MORRISTOWN – The St. Patrick’s Day Parade hosted a night of gratitude on October 26 at Glenbrook Brewery.
On an autumn evening that felt more like early summer, the parade thanked its Patrons — individuals whose support sustains the popular Morris County event. More than 140 guests attended the complimentary Fall Gathering, which is one of several exclusive Patron events held annually.
Also at Glenbrook, Morristown Mayor Timothy Dougherty received a check for $11,000 to defray municipal costs associated with the parade. And six nonprofits accepted a share of $40,000 given by the parade this year to a host of charities.
“The parade is one day, but even after the marchers go home, our group continues to do a lot of good in Morris County,” said Artie Flinn, president of the parade’s Board of Trustees.
The parade is funded entirely through private contributions from local businesses, corporations and individual benefactors. No public funds are used.
“We meet each spring to review our expenses,” Flinn said. “We see how much we raised; we pay the bills; we keep a little bit for a rainy day; and we give the rest to charities.”
Organizations that received donations at the Fall Gathering were:
“Your generosity allows our kids to go on a trip to New York City to a sign-interpreted show for them to enjoy,” said Sharon McMichael Wendler, nurse at Lake Drive School. “It’s very exciting because they wouldn’t have that experience without the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Thank you for all you do.”
Debbie McKenna, Volunteer and Events Manager at Market Street Mission, said the parade helps fund various initiatives at the men’s homeless shelter, including a recovery program for men in addiction.
“Thank you for the impact you’re making in the community — not just on the men in addiction and their families and children, but on the hungry and the homeless in the area,” McKenna said.
Similar expressions of gratitude were offered by the other nonprofits in attendance.
Organizers of Project Graduation at Morristown High School said parade support helps lower the per-student cost from $110 to $10.
Donations from the parade allow Interfaith Food Pantry to distribute two million pounds of food annually, which serves about 3,000 households every month, according to the group’s directors.
And thanks to the parade, St. Peter’s Orphanage can better serve young men aged 15 to 19 whose families are unable to care for them.
The group with the deepest connection to the parade is Project Children, which provides summer travel to the United States for young Catholics and Protestants from the north of Ireland. Supporting Project Children has been part of the parade’s bylaws for many years. At Glenbrook, guests heard from Project Children founder Denis Mulcahy, a retired member of the NYPD Bomb Squad and native of Co. Cork.
“There are so many wonderful people who have supported us over the years,” Mulcahy said. “Next year we’re going to celebrate 50 years of Project Children. That is a long time. Over the years, we have provided summer experiences to over 25,000 young people. I have met many people here tonight who have opened their homes and hearts, and I want to thank each and every one of you.”
To help support the Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, please consider becoming a Parade Patron.