2018 Hibernian Business Person of the Year Neil Acer

Neill was born in the Bronx to Gerard and Eleanor Acer in 1971. His maternal grandparents journeyed to the United States from Ireland (Roscommon and Leitrim) in the 1920s. Mike Ward and Annie O’Neill chose to call New York their home.

When Neill’s parents met and subsequently married, they, too, chose to stay in New York. His father, Gerry, was a retired New York City banker. His mother, Eleanor, is a retired New York City teacher. Eleanor worked in the classroom with children for over 45 years. Her patience is legendary and can be seen in her son. Neill and his two older siblings, Eleanor Annie and Gerard Michael, were all born and raised in New York.

Neill graduated from University of Rochester in 1994 where he double-majored in English and Psychology. While at U of R, Neill picked up a new hobby– he started home brewing – never realizing he was beginning his journey to the future and The Defiant Brewing Company! In addition to being a graduate of the University of Rochester, Neill received formal brewing training at the Siebel Institute of Technology and World Brewing Academy (Chicago, IL).
While on his journey, he met and married his wife, Amy Acer. Together, they have two beautiful children: Neill Connor (12) and Abigail Eleanor (7). It was important to Neill that Amy and the children be introduced to the Emerald Isle and all of the extended family in Ireland. In 2011, Neill took the entire family on an adventure to Ireland. Together, everyone explored the countryside far and wide – spending time with relatives and extended family, visiting old homesteads including the family bog, as well as sites rich in history for all Irishmen.

When it came time to open his own brewery, Neill knew he had to be in New York. And, what better place than Pearl River!
Neill, owner and brew master, brings over twenty years of professional brewing experience to The Defiant Brewing Company (Pearl River, NY). From the start, Neill’s career has focused on bringing high quality, unique (some may say “defiant”) craft-brewed beer to patrons in and around the lower Hudson Valley in places like The West End (New York, NY), The Colorado Brewery and Steakhouse (Danbury, CT), and Mountain Valley Brew Pub (Suffern, NY). Neill’s creativity and love for his craft help him win the praise of discerning beer drinkers, critics, and certified judges worldwide. Defiant ales and lagers can be found locally as well as throughout New York State and New Jersey. Neill has grown Defiant from a one-man operation to a company of over 20 employees in a little over 12 years! Neill and his beers have won numerous awards, including two International gold medals in the World Beer Cup. Neill is also a renowned, International beer judge and has traveled to Canada and Brazil in recent years to judge competitions.

Neill has been a member of AOH Division III in Pearl River since 2006 and has been privileged to be an Aide to the Grand Marshal. Neill’s paternal grandfather was also an Aide to the Grand Marshal in New York City during the 1930s. Neill is a member of the Pearl River Rotary and the Pearl River Chamber of Commerce.

Parade Commander Francis T. Duffy

2018 Parade Commander Francis t. Duffy

2018 Parade Commander Francis t. Duffy

Francis Thomas Duffy was born on August 16, 1923, to Frank and Katie Duffy as one of six children raised in New York City. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on August 4, 1942, and attended recruit training at Parris Island, S.C., and received follow-on infantry training at New River and Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Mr. Duffy sailed with the 2/25 from Norfolk via the Panama Canal bound for San Diego to undergo training for the Pacific campaigns at a small tent camp at Las Pulgas Canyon, on the northern fringe of Camp Pendleton, CA. He sailed with the 4th Marine Division for the Marshall Islands on January 13, 1944. This was the only Marine Corp division to sail directly into combat from the United States.

Mr. Duffy participated in the landings at Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. At Iwo Jima, Frank was serving as a Runner for the Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, Twenty-fifth Marines, Fourth Marine Division when a group of the enemy attacked the observation post personnel with hand grenades from a concealed position, Private First Class Duffy unhesitatingly advanced alone and despite being wounded by grenade fire, succeeded in annihilating two of the Japanese. He was awarded the Silver Star for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity” for his actions and would spend a year in various naval hospitals recovering from the wounds he sustained until he was finally discharged on February 13, 1946.

After the war, Mr. Duffy was employed by the U.S. Postal Service and retired in June 1979. He and his wife, Bridie moved to Pearl River, N.Y. in January 1969, where they raised their six children. Mr. & Mrs. Duffy have ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. They are also members of St. Margaret’s Church in Pearl River.

Mr. Duffy has been a member of the American Legion Post 329 in Pearl River since 1981 and is a member of John Cardinal D’Alton AOH – Division III in Pearl River, receiving his major degree in 1977.

2018 Rockland Aide to Grand Marshall NYC Jim Russell

Jim is a native of Woodbury, N.Y. and a graduate of St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, N.Y., Jim earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from STAC in 1999.  He received his Master’s Degree in Social Studies Education from NYU in 2003.  Additionally, he received his Master of Science in Education (Educational Leadership) from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 2016.  Jim’s dad is a native of Dublin, Ireland (Clonliffe) and his grandparents were from Dublin and Kildare (Maynooth). 

Upon graduation from STAC, Jim served as the first assistant director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving at the College.  In 2001, he began his teaching career in the NYC Board of Education at M.S. 80 in the Norwood section of the Bronx.   While at M.S. 80, Jim served on the School Leadership Team (as Chairperson), the school’s grant writer (he secured a grant from the 3M foundation for the School’s Library Media Center), Report Card Coordinator (5 years) and finally served as the Dean.

In 2006, Jim left M.S. 80 and began teaching at Clarkstown South High School in West Nyack, N.Y.  He has taught the following at Clarkstown South:  A.P. U.S. Government and Politics, U.S. History, International Baccalaureate, Years 1 & 2, and Syracuse University Project Advance course in Public Policy.  Jim is currently on the Site based team; coordinator of the school’s blood drives, Junior Class Advisor and is the advisor of the National Honor Society.  He is involved in the Clarkstown Teachers Association as a building rep and served as Chairperson of the Political Action Committee.

Since 1998, Jim has served as Parish Youth Minister at St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Nyack, N.Y.  During his time at St. Francis, the Youth Group became one of the largest in the Archdiocese of New York.  The parish was awarded the CYO/TAF Apostolic award in 2004 and Jim was awarded the Youth Ministry Award in 2006.

Since Jim arrived at St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1995, he has been involved in campus activities.  While a student, Jim was elected the freshman and sophomore class president, Student Government President for two years, served as a student member of the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, and also had a radio program on WSTK.  For his service to STAC, Jim was awarded the Terence Cardinal Cooke Award at Commencement in 1999.  Jim also has served on the STAC Alumni Association Board of Directors and was elected its Vice President in 2010.

Off-campus, Jim has been involved in the following:  Member, Board of Trustees, Historical Society of Rockland County, Past and current chairperson of the Rockland County Youth Bureau and past secretary of the board and board member of Thorpe Family Residence, a homeless shelter for women and children located in the Bronx.  Jim is also a Sparkill Dominican Associate.

Jim joined Division 1 North Rockland in 1999 and immediately became involved in the division.  He has served as Secretary, Vice President and President of the Division.  On the county level, Jim has served as Scholarship Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and until most recently County President since 2013.  Jim also served as Co-Chair for the 1st two halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Parade fundraisers for two years that raised in excess of $20,000, Parade Mass and Breakfast Chairperson, he has also been involved in the Feis as the Mass Chairperson.  He was also Mass chairperson for the extremely successful 2011 State Convention that was held in Pearl River.  On the state level, Jim is the chairperson of the New York State Scholarship Committee.  He has also been a member of the committee that coordinated the national dinners’ for Past National President, Brendan Moore. 

Jim is a member of the CMAO (Concerned Member Affiliate Organization).  This organization is trying to bring democracy back to the parade and having the parade board recognize the affiliate organizations. 

Unbeknownst to Jim, his paternal grandmother’s uncle was involved in the rising in 1916. 

Jim and his wife Tricia were married on August 29, 2009.  They have an almost 5-year-old daughter, Annie who is the light of their lives!

2018 Hibernian of the Year William Young

2018 Hibernian of the Year William Young

Bill was born in the Manhattan to John and Mary Jo Young (Brett) in 1965. His father John is retired from the New York Police Department and his mother Mary is retired from the Town of Orangetown town clerk’s office. His parents moved the family from the Bronx to Pearl River in 1977, where Bill and his three siblings; Nora, John and Mary Kate; all attended Pearl River High School. Bill graduated from Pearl River HS in 1983.

Bill attended Manhattan College where he received his Bachelors of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1989 and his MBA in Management in 1993. After graduating from Manhattan College, Bill joined PSE&G, a New Jersey-based utility, where he has held various engineering and management positions. He has been with PSE&G for twenty-nine years and is currently the Manager of Fuel Supply for PSEG Power in Newark, NJ.

While at Manhattan College, Bill met his wife, Lois FitzPatrick, who is from Manhasset, NY and a graduate of the College of Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale, NY. They just recently celebrated their twenty-sixth wedding anniversary this past November and reside in Nanuet with their three daughters; Kerry – a Marist College graduate and a kindergarten teacher at the Good Shepard School in Inwood, Megan – a graduate of Boston College and currently in the doctorate of physical therapy program at Northeastern University, and Kiera – a junior at Siena College studying psychology. His daughters have all danced for the Inishfree School of Irish Dance out of the AOH; performing in many shows for Division III. They have competed at the Open Championship level nationally and internationally in Ireland, England and Scotland.

Bill has been a member of AOH Division III in Pearl River since 2004 and has been the divisions Financial Secretary for the last ten years. He became vice president of the Rockland County AOH in June 2017. He has been a member of the Town of Orangetown Planning Board twelve years and is a past board member of the Nanuet Black & Gold sports club. He has served on the scholarship committees of both the AOH and Nanuet Black & Gold club and is actively involved in their community sponsored events.

2018 Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal Emmett Woods

2018 Grand Marshal Emmett Woods

2018 Grand Marshal Emmett Woods

Emmett was born in Pomeroy County Tyrone in Ireland.  He immigrated to the United States in 1985, and met his beautiful wife Moira when living in the Bronx, and have four beautiful children,  Moira Jr, Emmett Jr. Shanagh and Seamus.  Emmett and Moira moved to Pearl River in 1995; where they still reside today. Emmett became very active in the local Community straight away.

Emmett comes from a large family. His siblings Mary, Kevin, Annette, and Gerard all live in Tyrone while Sean & Noel and their families live in New York.  Seamus [RIP] had moved to New York in 1986 for almost one year where he worked for Local 33. He moved back home in 1987 and was killed while on active duty on 7th July 1988.

Emmett worked in construction and eventually started his own construction company in 1990. In 2004 Emmett opened a restaurant in Poughkeepsie, NY.  The restaurant is called Emmett Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. 

Emmet joined the Rockland GAA in 1996, as a player and won a few Championships. In 1999, he became a coach and has traveled with Rockland’s underage team to Ireland, and also was New York Feile coach when they won Feile. In 1999, Emmett joined together with 23 other families to help secure the funds to purchase Rockland GAA fields.  They have since completed a major renovation to these fields and the Club House located at the fields. Emmett is currently the development officer for New York GAA.

Emmett joined AOH Division 5, as well as the Rockland Irish American Cultural Center in Blauvelt, approximately the same time as he joined the Rockland GAA.  Years later, he became a booster member of Hibernian House.  Emmett is also a member of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, Rockland Chapter.  Over the past 22 plus years, Emmett has been involved with numerous benefits to help defray costs for friends in need and on too many occasions to count, Emmett has been available to assist abundant events in the Irish community by sending out email and text notices to hundreds of supporters.  Emmett also ran a golf outing every year for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, a charity which he holds near and dear to his heart.

As a member of Division 5, Emmett has held the office of Vice-President, has been honored as the Rockland County Aide to the Grand Marshal to New York City Parade, 2004 and was recognized by the Rockland County AOH as their Businessman of the Year in 2013.

In addition to being a member of the above-mentioned clubs, Emmett is also a very proud member of Clan Na Gael, which he promptly joined in 1986, shortly after coming over from Ireland.

Emmett would like everyone not to forget all the fallen volunteers and all volunteers who have served jail time over the last 100 years fighting for a free and united Ireland. Hopefully, the mission of a United Ireland will be accomplished in our lifetime.

Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Trophy Winners

The winner of Trophies for the 55th Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade have been announced:

Neil O’Sullivan Honor Guard Memorial Trophy – Color/Honor Guard – Paramus Police Department Honor Guard

Munno’s Italian Deli – Large Pipe Band, 1st Place – RC AOH Edward V. Larkin Memorial Pipe Band

In Memory of Piper Billy Kenney (Donated by the RCAOH Pipe Band) – Large Pipe Band, 2nd Place – Police Pipes and Drums of Bergen County

Murty’s, In Memory of John O’Hara – Small Pipe Band, 1st Place – FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums

Connie and Breda O’Sullivan Memorial Trophy – Small Pipe Band, 2nd Place – FDNY EMS Pipes and Drums

In Memory of Mary Franklin – High School Band – Paramus Catholic Marching Paladins

Society of Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick – Irish School of Dance – Broesler School of Irish Dance

Bridget Tehan Kilgallen Memorial – Veteran Organizations – Color Guard and Members: American Legion Post 329

TF Noonan’s – Irish Cultures Organizations – Women of Irish Heritage

Luigi O’Grady’s Deli and Catering – Catholic Organization – Rockland County Knights of Columbus

Annie A. and James P. Russell Memorial – Elementary School – Saint Margaret’s School, Pearl River

Munno’s Italian Deli – Special Organizations – Buddy Ball

Thomas Argenti Memorial (Donated by the Fatigate Family – Government Agency’s – Rockland County Police Academy

Joe McKiernan Memorial – Irish Counties – Keyymen’s P&B Association of New York

 

2017 Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal Carmel Reilly

This year, our Grand Marshal for the 55th Rockland County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is Carmel Reilly. Carmel will follow in her father’s footsteps when she leads the line of march on March 19th, 2017, 43 years and 2 days after her dad. Talk about “Keeping The Tradition Alive!”

Carmel has been a proud member of the L.A.O.H. for the past fifteen years and has been involved in many activities pertaining to the A.O.H./L.A.O.H. throughout those years. Her pride in her Irish Heritage and her commitment to the A.O.H./L.A.O.H. and their causes have made her worthy to be Grand Marshal.

Carmel and her three sisters were raised in Blauvelt, the children of Matt and Moira Reilly. Matt and Moira have been Hibernians for most of their adult lives and incorporated this dedication to Irish Heritage into the everyday life of their family. Every Sunday the sound of Irish music from WFUV was heard throughout their home. Of course, this led to Irish stepdancing becoming a part of Carmel’s life, and so she danced in the first Feis held in Rockland County in 1974.

Carmel joined the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 3 in the fall of 2001 and immediately joined the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. She has remained an active member of both to this day.

Through the years Carmel has been involved in many projects for the Irish Community:

As Chairperson to a Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Committee, organized A Night At The Races which raised over $20,000 for the Rockland St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For the Ladies A.O.H. Carmel has served for over a dozen years as The Chairperson for both the Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day Dinners.

Carmel served as a member of the Rockland Feis Committee for several years and for two years was Co-Chairperson, along with Michael O’Sullivan, for the Feis Journal.

As mentioned before, Carmel has a strong love for her Irish Heritage and the homeland of her parents. Thus when the Committee was formed to commemorate the Heroes of 1916, she immediately joined and became an active member, organizing and participating in the following activities:

Organized a Night At The Races which provided the Committee with much needed start–up funds enabling them to get the Commemoration up and running.

Because of an interest in presenting the true story of the Women of 1916, Carmel joined a drill team of re-enactors representing the Cumann na mban. Along with the men from Clan na Gail, the team met every week, drilling for 1-2 hours at a time. They marched at the Calvary Cemetery on Easter Sunday and once again on April 24th leading the Parade for the Commemoration at the Rockland G.A.A. fields.

Carmel also assisted with the G.A.A. youngsters who were part of the Color Guard carrying the 32 Counties flags during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and again for the Commemoration. This was a proud time for Carmel as she was pleased to demonstrate what the Rockland Irish Community could do in commemorating the Heroes of 1916.

Carmel and her good friend John Lowry have also aided the G.A.A. in Fundraising by developing an eight week Pub Quiz.
On too many occasions to count, Carmel has been available to assist the Irish Community fundraising by sending email notices to hundreds of Supporters.

In need of help? Call Carmel and she will answer. Examples of her generosity and cooperation to worthy causes: Dancing Like the Stars fundraiser, help for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the John O’Hara and John Kennedy Benefits.

And this past November 6th, Carmel completed the 26.2 miles of the New York City Marathon, after several years of having run numerous racing events for charity, such as the John Bellow 5K, the Dennis P. McHugh 5K, the Women’s Distance Festival, which benefits domestically abused women, the Nun Run (for the Sisters of St. Dominic), and the Mickey Sullivan Duathlon where she has to run and bike for Team KJ hoping to put an end to Huntington’s Disease.

Carmel resides in Pearl River, is a Dominican College Alumnus, and is employed as the Store Manager at Bergen Supply. She was recognized by the Rockland County A.O.H./L.A.O.H. in 2008 as Hibernian of the Year. In 2010 she was honored with their Distinguished Service Awards by Irish Northern Aid and Rockland G.A.A.

Rockland County Hibernian of the Year 2017 Thomas Zugibe:

Thomas Patrick Zugibe and his wife of 41 years, Peggy, are the parents of 4 grown children: Tara (Scott) Munson, Kristen (Robert) Kolka, Thomas and Mary and 4 grandchildren, Scott, Tyler, Noelle & Abigail. Tom is very proud of his Irish Heritage. He has always been a strong supporter of the A.O.H. and its many functions throughout the years, such as the Emerald Ball and its Journal, Division 1 Annual Dance and its Journal, and the Division 1 Annual Communion Breakfast. Through the years, It was a rare St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Pearl River that Tom was not seen marching down the Avenue. When he realized he was qualified to join the A.O.H. through his Mom who was an O’Leary, Tom immediately joined Division 1. He would volunteer immediately for any activity that required his participation. It was for this reason that Division 1 invited Tom to be an honored speaker at its Annual Communion Breakfast several years ago. He and his wife are lifelong parishioners of St. Peter’s Church where Tom serves as a lector and Eucharistic Minister.

Thomas Zugibe was elected Rockland County District Attorney in 2007. He leads a staff of 30 prosecutors and two dozen criminal investigators. Since first taking office in 2008, Tom has transformed the District Attorney’s office through the development of aggressive investigative and prosecutorial initiatives while implementing major innovative prevention and diversionary programs with a strong emphasis on youth. Specialized teams of prosecutors, investigators and forensic auditors now focus on the investigation and prosecution of complex and/or large scale financial crimes such as embezzlements, welfare fraud, investment fraud, business fraud, insurance fraud, employment/compensation fraud, identity theft, tax evasion, organized crime and public corruption. At the same time, he has implemented innovative programs addressing substance abuse, behavioral health and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Tom has embraced Community Prosecution as a philosophical change in the functioning of the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office. He was invited to present his community prosecution model in September 2009 before a plenary session of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) Community Prosecution Conference held in Los Angeles and again in 2010 at the APA’s Community Prosecution Conference held in Washington D.C. where he received the APA’s Innovative Community Engagement (I.C.E.) Award, a national award recognizing individuals and prosecution offices that have demonstrated creative leadership in community prosecution. In 2011, the United States Department of Justice awarded a $500,000 grant to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to replicate Rockland’s Community Prosecution model in three initial U.S. cities.

More recently, Tom spearheaded an exciting new collaboration between his office, Rockland BOCES and the Rockland County Departments of Probation, Mental Health and Social Services entitled the Partnership for Safe Youth. This collaborative is now recognized as a groundbreaking initiative that enhances the effectiveness and productivity of services for youth and their families. Indeed, the Federal government recently awarded a $4 million grant to further the work of this initiative as a potential model to be replicated across the nation. This co-location center streamlines and coordinates the work of the individual agencies to identify at-risk youth and coordinate an effective response to address issues related to their safety.

Prior to his election, Tom Zugibe worked for two decades in private practice and served as the West Haverstraw Village Justice for a period of eighteen years. He resigned from that position to run for District Attorney. Between 1981 and 1987, Tom served as a prosecutor in the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, where he was promoted to Executive Assistant District Attorney. His tenure in the District Attorney’s Office included directing the Narcotics Division and Major Offenses Division. During this period, Tom investigated and tried a vast array of both violent crimes and complex “white collar” cases.
District Attorney Zugibe began his legal career as a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the New York State Deputy Attorney General for Medicaid Fraud Control.
Tom is a 1975 graduate of Manhattan College and received his Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1979. He is admitted to the New York Bar and the Federal District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Hibernian Businesswomen of the Year Kay O’Grady and Michelle O’Grady Worob.

This year, our Businesswoman of the Year is Kay O’Grady, from Luigi O’Grady’s. Kay shares this honor with her daughter Michelle O’Grady Worob.

2017 Businesswoman of the Year – Kay O’Grady:

Catherine (Kay) was born and raised in Graignamanagh, County Kilkenny. Kay was born to Bridget and John Lakes, and was the youngest of 10 children (four boys and six girls).

At the young age of 18, Kay moved to London to find work, and ended up meeting her match – John (Sean) O’Grady. They married in 1968, and moved to America to build a life and start a family. Kay and Sean settled in Orangetown in 1972, and raised their three children there – Darren, Michelle (Worob), and Siobhan.

Kay and Sean were charter members of the Rockland Irish American Cultural Center in Blauvelt, and they were active. Sean and other members performed many repairs and renovations at the Irish Center, and Kay was always an active participant, helping wherever she was needed.

Kay and Sean’s kids attended Nanuet public schools, and participated in Pearl River Little League and Orangetown Mighty Midgets. Kay volunteered her time as a coach for her daughters’ soccer teams as well, leading them to several undefeated seasons. She was also the founding member of the R.I.A.C.C. women’s softball team, and she started the R.I.A.C.C. bowling league at Pearl River Lanes.

Kay spent her life working in the food/bar industry, and jumped into business-ownership in 1993, when she bought the snack bar in Pearl River Lanes Bowling Alley. After a few years there, she took the plunge and bought a little deli in Pearl River – and so began Luigi O’Grady’s where she joined forces with her daughter, Michelle. Over the last two decades, their little deli has grown into one of the most successful deli and catering businesses in Rockland County.

Kay and Michelle have made it their number one priority to give back to the community that has given so much to them. They generously support local charities and fundraisers, and participate in community events year-round. The O’Grady family is well known for their generosity.

In 2009, Kay’s beloved husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and so began her next chapter – as devoted caregiver until his passing in 2013. During that time, Kay became involved in Alzheimer’s Association of Rockland County.

In order to give back, Kay and her children started Team O’Grady, a fundraising effort to raise money for the Rockland County chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Kay and her family have raised over $100,000 since 2011. Every year, Kay and Team O’Grady participate in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s, where they remember Sean for the wonderful husband, father, and grandfather he was.

Last but not least, Kay’s proudest title is grandmother – to Madelyn (13) and Shayne (11).

2017 Businesswoman of the Year – Michelle O’Grady Worob: 

 Michelle was born and raised in Nanuet to Irish Born Parents, John (Sean) and Catherine (Kay) O’Grady. She is the middle of three children, with an older brother Darren and a younger sister Siobhan. She has been married to her husband, Jason, for over 16 years and they have two daughters, Madelyn (13) and Shayne (11). They reside in Pearl River. 

As a youth, Michelle was an active participant in Pearl River Little League and Orangetown Mighty Midgets, her daughters continue the tradition. When Michelle started Nanuet High School, she decided to put sports aside for her first job, Shoprite in Pearl River where she remained for almost 10 years. She attended Nanuet Senior High School and then went on to earn an Associate’s Degree from Rockland Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from Pace University, where she majored in Business Management and Accounting. 

Michelle has co-owned Luigi O’Grady’s along with her Mother, Kay, for almost 20 years. During that time, Luigi O’Grady’s has become one of the most successful deli and catering businesses in Rockland County. Michelle and Kay have made it a priority to give back the community that has supported them in their success. The O’Grady family is known for their generosity they have supported countless community organizations and fundraisers. They go above and beyond and in addition to the financial assistance you will often see Michelle at the events volunteering her time. 

Michelle has been an integral member of the Pearl River Chamber of Commerce for over 15 years where she remains very active today. During her time as a member she has served on the Board of Directors, as Treasurer and as Vice President. She has also been very active on many of the committee’s. The work at the Pearl River Chamber of Commerce she is most proud of is the creation and continued success of the Pearl River Day Festival. The Pearl River Day Festival held every October draws thousands to Pearl River. 

A charity that has been become very important to Michelle is the Alzheimer’s Association of Rockland County. Michelle and her family lost their father to the disease in 2013 and have made it a priority to give back to the organization that helped them so much throughout their father’s illness. Throughout each year, they hold several fundraisers for the Alzheimer’s Association and have quickly become one top fundraising teams for Rockland County Raising over $100,000 to date.

Rockland County Aide to Grand Marshal NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade Helen Kilgallen Murphy

Helen Kilgallen Murphy is the proud daughter of Thomas P. Kilgallen of Portavade, Sligo and the late Bridget Teahan Kilgallen of Lauragh, Kerry. She was born in Lenox Hill Hospital, along with her two brothers, Thomas and Paul. She has been married to her husband, Michael for 30 years.

She started marching in the Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade with St. Augustine’s Grammar School in 1963, and has continued to march annually since then, whether it was Rosary Academy High School, the Sligomen’s Association, the LAOH or as a member of the Parade Committee. She is Senator Schumer’s Permanent Aide, when he marches in the Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

She joined LAOH Division 3, Pearl River, NY in 2003 and is an active member. She was Recording Secretary 2010 – 2011 and is currently the Recording Secretary. Helen was a member of the winning LAOH Trivia Teams that helped raise monies for the Rockland County GAA.

As a member of LAOH Division 3, she has volunteered to assist with Dancing with the Stars, The Fashion Show, Dinners or whatever she can give her time to. In 2007, she was the LAOH Aide to Grand Marshall Mary O’Sullivan.

Since 2006, she has been a member of the Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, where she will do whatever is asked of her, such as marking the parking lot beforehand, or cleaning up the lot afterwards, making signs and assisting with the line of march in the parking lot.

Helen was a member and past president of the Irish Arts Forum in the mid 1980’s. She performed in a few productions, and assisted with the all aspects of the off stage productions.

Helen was instrumental in changing how the Department of Transportation of New York proceeds with projects that will impact communities. In the early 1990’s, she was asked to be a member of a new concept, Citizens Advisory Committee, that gave input and feedback towards planning and implementation of sustainable development and strategies. She was recognized by NYMTC and The Town of Orangetown for her efforts.

Helen presently is employed with Equinox Management Group as an Executive Assistant. Prior to that, she worked in her family’s business, The Peanut Grill Tavern, where her strong work ethic, sense of fairness and the ability to see the good in all, was instilled by her parents.

In trying to give back to the community, she did run for public office, although unsuccessful.

Helen’s Irish heritage is a source of pride and strength, and exemplifies her commitment to promoting Irish Culture.