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JULY 2006
26/07/2006 WIPAN/Gardiner Street Gospel Choir Table-Quiz
24/07/2006 Celtic Cup Fundraiser
23/07/2006 Third Annual WIP Gala A Huge Success
20/07/2006 Mount Lebanon Choir To Visit Ireland
16/07/2006 First WIPAN Initiative In The USA
10/07/2006 Plans for Innagural WIPAN Charity Ball
06/07/2006 Date For Your Diaries - WIPAN AGM
04/07/2006 Happy Independence Day!
03/07/2006 Washington-Ireland Program Goes Global!

WIPAN/Gardiner Street Gospel Choir Table-Quiz

Aisling McKenna (2000) and WIPAN are organizing a table quiz on Thursday 10 August to raise funds to enable Mount Lebanon Baptist Choir visit Northern Ireland and Dublin this September.

The event takes place at the FXB in the Castle Inn in Christchurch, Dublin 2 and kicks off at 8pm. Tables of four costs 20e and it's hoped to have a large turnout from both WIPAN and the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir

The night will also include a raffle and spot prizes

If you’re coming straight from work or would like to catch up with your classmates over a bite to eat, the bar downstairs in the FXB has delicious food.

This will be a nice way to catch up with alumni and maybe even a few of the Class of 2006 will pop along if they get over their jet lag! (They arrive back in Dublin on Monday.) And of course all the money raised will be a great way of saying ‘Thank you!’ to Mount Lebanon for contributing so much to our summer experiences.


Capitol Hill and Big Business Unite to Support to Raise Funds for WIP

Today Monday 24 July marks the date of the inaugural Celtic Cup Golf Tournament to benefit the Washington-Ireland Program. The tournament will be held at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA.

The tournament will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. with a “shotgun” start. After registration a golf clinic will take place from long drive expert Mike Dunaway (www.mikedunaway.org). The event will be concluded with an awards reception where the perpetual Celtic Cup trophy, donated by Galway Crystal, will be presented to the winning team. Goody bags feature some delightful gifts, including packets of Tayto crisps and Barry's Tea.

This event would not be possible without the assistance and dedication of many people. In particular the Honorary Chairs: Ambassador Noel Fahey and Ambassador David Manning, the Congressional Chairs: Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. Peter King, Rep. Richard Neal, Rep. John Sweeney and Rep. James Walsh.

A special note of thanks to the Sponsors whose generous support is greatly appreciated and with whom the Celtic Cup and WIP are proud to be associated: at&t, Verizon, Verizon Wireless, Diageo, EarthLink, EDS, Kevin O'Brien, RIM, Fortune Brands, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Potomac Counsel, LLC, Ireland's Four Provinces, Time Warner Telecom, AFSA, Vonage, CTIA, International Union of Bracklayers & Allied Craftworkers, Neustar, The American Foundation for Irish Heritage, The Shiloh Foundation, Law Office of Kevin G. Curtin, Kitty O'Shea's, Murphy's Grand Irish Pub.


Third Annual WIP Gala A Huge Success

Last night, Sunday 23 July, the McClean Hilton Hotel at Tysons Corner was the venue for the third annual WIP Gala. Over 200 people gathered to celebrate the special relationship between the United States of America and the island of Ireland.

Gala Chair Hugh O'Hara, who is also a Host Dad, Work Supervisor and WIP Board Member, praised the Class of 2006 for their energy and to work together to improve the lives of all on the island of Ireland and to keep the Irish-American relationship alive and flourishing. He thanked all the sponsors of the evening and all those who bid at the silent auction.

The Class of 2006 were joined by many alumni: Shane Carmichael (1997) who is WIP Office Manager for the summer, his classmate and WIP interviewer Michelle McAuley, WIP General Manager Ryan Moffat (2001), World Bank/ IFC work supervisor Declan Heery (2002), Laura McCrudden (2003), Jonathan Chesney (MT) and David Russell (2004), and Martina Callanan, Paddy McCaughey and Aileen Smyth (2005).

The hosts for the evening were the sparkling Darina Flynn and Justin McAleese. The programme featured the poem "Beacons at Bealtaine' by Seamus Heaney recited by Frank Kennedy and accompanied by Karina Moore on piano who composed a special piece for the evening. Amy Stewart and Ed Tobin sang 'Mountains of Mourne' accompaned by Eoghan O hArgain, Matthew Gillespie and Reachbha FitzGerald. Lisa Oates performed a sean nos song, and Clare McQuillan and Briege Fitzpatrick gave Riverdance a run for their money! Jazz pianist Eoghan O hArgain and Amy Maguire on vocals were joined onstage by a dancing Liam Killen for 'Can't Take That Away From Me'. The program concluded with the Class songs, 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and 'Wild Rover'.

Festivities concluded into the night at the Front Page. Photographs will be available soon on the Washington-Ireland Program website.

Visit the Washington-Ireland Program website


Mount Lebanon Choir Led By Pastor Edmunds To Visit Ireland

Pastor Edmunds of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church is leading his church's 20-strong Gospel Choir across the Atlantic Ocearn for one week this September to visit and experience the places where their summer visitors are from.

Every year for the last twelve years the class of Washington-Ireland interns has been welcomed warmly with open arms and smiling faces by the congregation for Sunday service and lunch reception.

The trip to Northern Ireland and Dublin is being organised by WIP founder Carol Wheeler as a way of thanking the community for their kind and gracious hospitality.

For many of the WIP alumni, the celebration of joy and love at the church is one of their summer highlights. This year Ed Tobin offered the song "Be Not Afraid" to the congregation during his Leadership Moment. Adrian Margey sang "Amazing Grace" in 2005 and Cliona Casserly offered an old James Cleveland song called "I just can't give up now" in 2004.

Three of our alumni were so inspired by the Mount Lebanon choir that they joined the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir when they came home – Aisling McKenna (2000), Seamus Carey (2003) and Cliona Casserly (2004).

On Sunday 17th September the Mt Lebanon choir will join with Gardiner Street Gospel Choir for Sunday Service.

Over the past couple of months the choir has been very busy fundraising for their trip of a lifetime. Aisling and Cliona led the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir in a fundraising drive in May. A table quiz will be held in Dublin on Thursday 10 August. Details to follow.


First WIPAN Initative In The USA

Two young WIP alumni have traveled to Washington DC this summer to ask Congressmen "What will be the future of the US-Ireland relationship?" David Russell (2004) and Martina Callanan (2005) will host a unique Forum on the Future of US-Ireland relations on Capitol Hill this Wednesday 26 July.

The Forum will be chaired by the Irish Ambassador to the United States , Mr Noel Fahey, and will be addressed by the leader of the Irish Caucus Rep. James Walsh (R-NY), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) and Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY).

Executive Director of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, Mr. Stephen Farry and founder and documentary maker of the Lavender and Green Alliance, Mr. Brendan Fay, will also share their vision for the future.

Driven by the diminishing amounts of young Irish people traveling to the US as well as the vast socio-economic changes on the island of Ireland these young people will be asking whether the Irish–American relationship is on the wane or not.

David (23) explained, "We want to ask the decision makers 'What do Ireland and the United States think of each other? What is it that continues to connect these distant and disperse groups of people?"

Martina (23) added, "And will it continue to, as Ireland and the US develop and change in the 21st Century?'"

The US Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency James C. Kenny has sent a message of support to Washington.


WIPAN announces details of innagural Charity Ball and Alumni Reunion

You are most cordially invited to join with the alumni of the Washington Ireland Program at the inaugural WIPAN Charity Black Tie Ball.

Date: Saturday 16 September 2006
Place: Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast

Tickets are £45 each with proceeds going to the Washington Ireland Program and YES.

To reserve your place please send a cheque made payable to 'Washington Ireland Program Alumni Network' to:-

C/o Washington Ireland Program
University Road
Belfast BT7 1PE

Or visit the interact section of our website and pay using our secure online payment system.

Visit secure online payment system

Friends and family are welcome to join us!


Date For Your Diaries - WIPAN AGM

The WIPAN AGM will take place on Saturday 16 September 2006 at 1pm in Belfast. Venue TBC.

The third weekend in September is the usual time for WIP and WIPAN reunions and festivites.

On the evening of Friday 15 September the annual chairty Five-a-Side Soccer Tournament will be held. The Class of 2006 will also graduate from the program.

The WIPAN AGM will be held on Saturday afternoon. That evening the inaugural WIPAN Charity Ball will take place.

It promises to be a great weekend, so make a spot for it in your diaries!

Details will follow shortly.


Happy Independence Day!

Today, July 4th marks Independence Day for some 300m American citizens.

WIPAN would like to join with our American friends, host-families, work supervisors and family in the USA in wishing everyone a very happy Independence Day!


Washington-Ireland Program Goes Global With South African Link

The Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership has a clear goal of helping to grow the next generation of leaders for Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, leadership today is a global experience and many other countries, apart from Ireland, have great needs for their younger generation to experience leadership in an international setting.

That is why WIP Team 2006 played host to two guests from South Africa for two weeks.

Inspired by WIP alumni, this outreach is called The Washington-South Africa Program or WASAP.

It's an idea that WIP has discussed since 2004. After two years of planning, the first pilot program occured in Washington DC between July 2nd and July 17th 2006.

Two students from the University of Cape Town joined the Class of 2006 for a fortnight, along with their mentor Claire Walshe from the Class of 2004.

Check out the web journals of mechanical engineering student Michael Currin and law student Reitumetse Phiri for their experiences of Washington and WIP.

Visit the WASAP website


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