By RICK WINTERSON
This year’s Jimmy Flaherty Kickoff Breakfast was a great celebration. It kicked off our St. Patrick’s/Evacuation Day season in fine style – the season which ends with the three-mile long parade, the largest in New England. Since the Cornerstone closed last year, Tom Connolly’s Seapoint hosted this event, and did a great job.
Each year, the South Boston Citizens’ Association, led by Tom McGrath, selects awardees to receive the Henry Knox Unsung Hero Award. Henry Knox was a key hero in George Washington’s command: He brought the Evacuation Day cannons here from Fort Ticonderoga and rose to become Washington’s Major General of Artillery and America’s first Secretary of Defense.
The 2016 awardees are Kenny Ryan, Jr., for his community leadership and activities; Kevin Kelly, for the free project work performed by his company, Northern Contracting Corp.; and John Hogan, for his support of so many local non-profits and fundraisers. South Boston Online congratulates all of you; South Boston is much the better for your presence here.
Elected officials on hand included City Councilor Bill Linehan, who served as the breakfast’s chairman, Congressman Steven Lynch, City Councilor-at-Large Michael Flaherty, and State Rep. Nick Collins. We heard that Nick is planning to get married – congratulations and much joy, Rep. Collins. The music was, as always, distinctly Irish, and as always, provided by the talented Curragh’s Fancy trio: Bob Fowkes, Michael Kelley and Dave Leahy.
The kickoff breakfast is well-named. It has become a much-anticipated celebration of the two or three weeks that lead up to the gala St. Patrick’s/Evacuation Day Parade on March 20 – South Boston’s largest and oldest major event, and one of the largest in the country.
The next party of the season will be the 21+ Bowl-a-Rama at South Boston Bowl on East Broadway on Sunday, March 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. Free bowling, refreshments and fun. This is sponsored by South Boston Bowl, and you must be 21 to attend.
Old favorites – Bob Fowkes (center) with Dave Leahy and Michael Kelley make up Curragh’s Fancy, playing for the Jimmy Flaherty Kickoff Breakfast.
It’s Scally City at Seapoint for the Jimmy Flaherty Kickoff Breakfast.
The two commanders – Bill Desmond of the Allied War Veterans Council and Ed Flynn of the Fitzgerald Post at the 2016 Kickoff Breakfast.
City Councilor (and breakfast chairman) Bill Linehan, SBCA President Tommy McGrath, his wife Kathleen, and Rep. Nick Collins at the breakfast.
Seapoint puts on its usual elegant spread for celebrations like the Jimmy Flaherty Kickoff Breakfast.
Peter O’Malley, Joe Curran, Congressman Steve Lynch, and Rob Pacitti wouldn’t miss the Jimmy Flaherty Kickoff Breakfast.
The singing of our elected officials blends well with Curragh’s Fancy at the kickoff breakfast. Rep. Nick Collins wins the award for “Most Improved.” (Did he serenade his bride-to-be?)
The breakfast’s host, Seapoint owner Tom Connolly relaxes at the Jimmy Flaherty Kickoff Breakfast.
Congressman Steve Lynch salutes Kathleen McGrath at the kickoff breakfast for all her efforts on behalf of the South Boston Citizens’ Association.
Kenny Ryan, Jr., (third from left) receives his Henry Knox Unsung Hero Award for his extensive activism in and around the South Boston community.
Kevin Kelly (third from right) receives his Henry Knox Unsung Hero Award for the projects he and his company, Northern Contracting Corp., have performed gratis.
Kevin Kelly’s family members are extremely proud of him and his Unsung Hero Award.
John Hogan of American Sweeps receives his Henry Knox Unsung Hero Award for his ongoing support of many South Boston non-profits and fundraisers.
Mayor Marty Walsh congratulates three Unsung Heroes – Kevin Kelly, Ken Ryan, Jr., and John Hogan – standing with Steve Lynch, Tom McGrath, Bill Linehan, Nick Collins, and Michael Flaherty.
John Healey sings “A Mother’s Blessing” with Curragh’s Fancy at the close of the 2016 Jimmy Flaherty Kickoff Breakfast.