September 2020 Letter to Members
Dear SOCIAL Members:
Although SOCIAL’s in-person events have been put on hold because of COVID, SOCIAL’s board has been busy with community outreach. SOCIAL, through its Scholarship Committee, will roll out its first scholarship award program this Fall and we anticipate awarding at least one scholarship annually, starting in March 2021, to deserving high school students. The scholarship award will be in the amount of $1000.00. The scholarship is open to students who will graduate from high school in 2021 or who graduated in 2020 and deferred admission to a post high school educational institution for a year. We attach a copy of the Scholarship Application.
As detailed in the application, students must be of Irish descent and must live in the Ninth Judicial District (Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange and Rockland). The application deadline is December 1, 2020. We anticipate that the Scholarship will be awarded in March in connection with our annual event, whether that be in person or virtual.
The Scholarship Committee has recently distributed the scholarship information and application to many local public and private high schools, with an emphasis on lower Westchester schools. Attached is a copy of the application. We encourage all members to share it with anyone who is eligible to apply or with organizations with which you are affiliated so that the application and information about the scholarship can be widely distributed.
Please contact SOCIAL’s Scholarship Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the scholarship or the application.
Stay safe and best regards,
THE SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE
Susan Meaney, Chair
Hon. Colleen D. Duffy
Hon. William Giacomo
P. Daniel Hollis III
Liam J. McLaughlin
May 2020 Letter to Members
Dear SOCIAL Members:
I write on behalf of all of the Board members of SOCIAL to convey our sincerest hope that you and your families are healthy and managing well in this surreal environment. We know that the coronavirus has affected all of us and members of both the bench and bar have been lost. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to all who have lost someone during this time.
Due to the unprecedented nature of this health crisis and its detrimental financial impact, and the likelihood that any in-person SOCIAL events will not occur for a significant but as yet unforeseen period of time, the Board has voted to suspend dues for the 2020-21 (April-March) year. For those members who already paid their dues for the 2020-21 year, we will apply those dues to the next fiscal year. It is our hope that, by sometime late fall or winter, we will be able to safely resume normal activities. In the meantime, please be advised that SOCIAL’s Board has been holding “virtual” meetings and will continue to do so to keep the organization moving forward until we can all safely meet again in person. Thus, I will endeavor to keep you apprised of all Board activities as they unfold.
I hope that you were able to attend our first Gala on March 3rd which was, by all accounts, a huge success and likely the last time any of us gathered to socialize. At the time, we didn’t realize that our early March celebration of St. Patrick’s Day likely was the only St. Patrick’s Day gathering that any of us attended in 2020. More than 100 people celebrated with us that evening and a great time was had by all. SOCIAL’s 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award was presented to the recently retired Honorable John Sweeny, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, First Department. Special thanks to our Events Committee - led by Allison Mosher and Kyle McGovern - for making the event unique among bar association events- with music and stories honoring our Irish heritage. Attached are a few pictures from the event. We are already planning for next year’s Gala with the hope that by next March an event with a large gathering will be safe and appropriate.
Our Scholarship Committee has also made strides toward implementing an annual scholarship program wherein SOCIAL will award deserving students with a scholarship; although still in the formulation stage, the plan right now is to award a $1000 scholarship to a worthy high school student of Irish heritage. Applications will be due in December and we hope that the award will be presented at next year’s March Gala. We will provide more details about the scholarship program as the plan cements.
We also want to alert our members to recent changes in law and court policies and rules which are highlighted on the New York State Court website at https://www.nycourts.gov/. This page will be continuously updated as new changes are enacted.
Although we wish we could meet face-to-face, we will endeavor to communicate with you throughout the year, despite our inability to get together as an organization. We wish you continued good health and hope to be able to see you soon.
December 2019 Letter to Members
Dear SOCIAL Members:
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! I write as president of this fledgling organization to thank you for
your faith in the viability and necessity of this organization as evidenced by your membership dues. As we conclude 2019, although we have only been “up and running” for approximately nine months, I am proud to announce that we have an active board of directors and a membership of approximately 100 lawyers. We have also hosted two very successful and enjoyable events; our most recent event in September highlighted traditional Irish music.
SOCIAL’s board has adopted by-laws and the following individuals have been elected as officers of SOCIAL each serving two year terms:
President and Chair of the Board of Directors - Colleen D. Duffy, Assoc. Justice, App. Div. ,
2d Dept., NYS Supreme Court
Vice President - The Honorable Charles Wood, Supreme Court, 9th J.D.
Second Vice President - Susan C. Meaney, Esq.
Treasurer - Nancy Barry, Esq.
Recording Secretary - Maureen Dunn, Esq.
Correspondence Secretary - Keary Neary, Esq.
Membership Secretary - The Honorable Francesca Connolly, Assoc. Justice, App. Div.,
2d Dept., NYS Supreme Court
In addition, attached hereto is a list of the current members of the board, each serving three year terms.
Please mark your calendar for MARCH 3, 2020. SOCIAL’s Events Committee is
working now to plan our March gala and is welcoming anyone who would like to serve on that committee. We expect the event to be outstanding and will be honoring the Honorable John Sweeny, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, First Department, who is retiring at the end of December. More information about the event will be sent out in the New Year. As we enter 2020, I will strive to keep you apprised of the work of the board and its officers and the plans that we have for SOCIAL’s future - both immediate and long term. The next meeting is set for January 8, 2019 at 5:15 on the 6th floor of 140 Grand Street, White Plains.