Kansas City Irish Center Gala 2023

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Cocktail Hour – 6pm
Dinner – 7pm
Program & Awards – 7:45pm
Music & Dancing – 8:30pm-10pm

We’re celebrating in style – cocktail attire – as we honor amazing members of our community: John and Ed Houlehan and the Houlehan Clan, recipients of the John J. Sullivan, Jr. Foundation Humanitarian Award, and Kelly Dougherty, recipient of the John O’Neal Community Award. Enjoy Irish-inspired food stations, specialty cocktails, and post-dinner dancing with the On The One band.

So dig back into your closet, get all “gussied up” and join us in our beautiful Drexel Hall as we celebrate and honor the best of our Irish community!

Purchase Your Tickets

Please join us and support the Kansas City Irish Center by attending the 2023 Gala. We have multiple ticket options for you.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Mary Kate Gliedt: 816-474-3848 or [email protected].

Our 2023 Honorees

We’re pleased to honor these individuals for their lifelong dedication and commitment to our Irish community, our history and our city.

John and Ed Houlehan and the Houlehan Clan

John J. Sullivan, Jr. Foundation Humanitarian Award

Awarded annually to an honoree(s) who exemplify the legacy of John’s ethical values, integrity, generosity and goodwill for this community and its people.

About John, Ed and the Houlehan Clan:

John and Ed Houlehan were born of immigrant parents from County Kerry, Edward Sr. and Kitty O’Shea Houlehan. John and Ed were educated at St. Francis Xavier Parish School, Rockhurst High School and Rockhurst College – all under the influence of the Jesuit order and indoctrinated in the Jesuit Mantra of “Men for Others.” All of their lives, John and Ed have supported Catholic schools, charities and missions: John, as a banker who fashioned his work ethic and philanthropic efforts after those of his mentor, John J. Sullivan, Jr., and Ed, as an attorney whose dedication to the Jesuit motto has never wavered.

As trustee of the John J. Sullivan, Jr. Charitable Foundation, John Houlehan has steered support to many Irish causes and organizations, including the Kansas City Irish Center.

As co-trustee with his brother John of the Candice M. Cooper Charitable Foundation, Ed has supported the Irish Center with multiple grants for physical improvements to the hall and office spaces, and cultural programming that furthers the Irish Center’s mission.

The brothers’ efforts have been promoted and supported by the entire Houlehan clan.

Kelly Dougherty

John O’Neal
Community Award

Awarded annually to an honoree whose tireless efforts behind the scenes in our Irish community make a difference through volunteerism and dedication.

About Kelly:

Kelly has been part of the Kansas City Irish Community for the last 30 years. She has been a member of three Irish bands and an Americana band and is currently the manager and agent for local singer/songwriter David Luther. Kelly is also a very active member of the Irish Community, serving on the Irish Center board for six years as vice-president for one year and the last three years as Emeritus Board. Before joining the KCIC board, she was an active member of KCIC and helped start and plan the annual Winterfest at KCIC. Kelly was the co-entertainment director for the first year of the Kansas City Irish Festival, stepping down to focus on her music before returning as a staff member serving on the Entertainment committee for the last 17 years. Before KCIF, she was the entertainment director for the Westport Irish Festival. Kelly also works at Brownes Market, a place that feels like home to her. She loves to pour a good whiskey or a good pint from time to time. She has previously worked for Folk Alliance International, The Folly Theater, and is currently the Director of Development and Communications at KKFI 90.1FM, Kansas City’s Community Radio station, where she continues to broaden her love and passion for music and use her voice to advocate for the community.

What it means to support the Kansas City Irish Center

Your financial support is a meaningful investment in the evolving story of Irish arts and culture in our community.

Your support means:

  • Expanded access to Irish arts and education for citizens of all ages and backgrounds
  • The opportunity to increase awareness of Irish literature and humanities
  • More exciting live music and entertainment
  • Improvements to the home of the Kansas City Irish Center, the historic and iconic Drexel Hall

The Kansas City Irish Center is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to the Kansas City Irish Center are tax-deductible.