Orange County Division 2 Delivers Holiday Cheer

Throughout the weekend of Friday, December 19 through Monday, December 21, 2020 scores of deserving civilian and military families in several Eastern Orange County communities received complete Christmas dinners thanks to the generous efforts of the members of the Father Donald J. Whelan, Division 2 in Cornwall, NY

Special thanks are in order to Brother John Encke and his daughter, Elizabeth Encke (2020 NYAOH Scholarship Recipient) who coordinated donations of turkeys and other food items from Stop & Shop and to Division President Bill Kirnan who organized the weekend deliveries and the complex logistics of deliveries that were as much as 25 miles apart. Members, families and friends turned out in force on Friday night to begin packing the full dinners so that the members could fan out on Saturday morning making their deliveries. 

This year the division began what they hope to be a lasting relationship in helping the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal located in the St. Mary of the Assumption Friary with their mission of caring for the poorest of poor in and around the City of Newburgh and in particular those hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In making the deliveries on Monday morning, Division Vice President Mike Shannon and Recording Secretary Kevin Cummings made sure to include a hearty Christmas dinner for the Friars and Brothers in residence at the Friary in thanks for all their devotion to the less fortunate in the community. This year’s combined effort was dedicated to the memory of Brother John Greehy who generously gave of his time and monetary support in so many years past. His presence was evident in the words of one of the grateful families who stated “I knew John wouldn’t forget us.  He is just making his deliveries from heaven now!”

NYS AOH Board Scholarship Awarded to Elizabeth Encke

(l-r) Tom Beirne, NYAOH Treasurer, Lisa Encke, Elizabeth Encke, 2020 NYAOH Scholarship recipient, John Encke, Financial Secretary, Division 2 Orange County, Dermot O’Connor Moore, NYAOH Scholarship Chair and Kevin Cummings, NYAOH Assistant Webmaster and Scholarship Committee member.

On May 27, 2020, the New York State AOH Board 2020 Scholarship was presented to Elizabeth Encke, daughter of John and Lisa Encke of Highland Mills, NY.  Elizabeth’s father, John is the Financial Secretary for Division 2 in Cornwall, Orange County.  Elizabeth was presented with a check in the amount of $3000 and a certificate in recognition of her outstanding achievement.  Presenting the award and representing the NYAOH Board were Tom Beirne, NYAOH Treasurer, Dermot O’Connor Moore, NYAOH Scholarship Chair and Kevin Cummings, NYAOH Assistant Webmaster and Scholarship Committee member.

Receiving the AOH Scholarship will allow Elizabeth to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. She was recently accepted to the nursing program at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and hopes to complete part of her studies in Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland where the university maintains an affiliate clinical site. Elizabeth is excited about the opportunity which will give her a chance to visit the area where her great-grandparents lived as well as visit with cousins still living in Ireland.

Elizabeth will soon be graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy (IHA) in Bergen County, New Jersey, where her mother Lisa is on the faculty and where Elizabeth pursued a well-rounded and rigorous academic program. While attending IHA, Elizabeth served as the service president of Campus Ministry and coordinated Midnight Runs to feed the homeless of New York City. She also served as vice president of the National Art Honor Society. Elizabeth served as Secretary of her parish youth group for three years and volunteered in various activities with the Sisters of Life, and the Franciscan Friars of Renewal. Elizabeth also spent time assisting at the warming station for individuals experiencing homelessness, a pastoral activity coordinated by the Newburgh Ministry.  She also accompanied her father and his AOH brothers as they prepared and delivered Christmas turkey dinners for families in need in the surrounding communities. Elizabeth thanked the committee and asked that they covey her sincere gratitude for the opportunity to pursue a career where the Order’s motto is practiced.

According to Dermot Moore, NYAOH Scholarship Committee Chair, “The committee received 28 applications from across the state and it was incredibly difficult to choose a winner from all the highly qualified applicants–all exceeding bright young men and women.” Moore continued, ” All those who applied should be proud of their accomplishments and we wish them the best of luck in their future studies.”  Moore added “I want to thank the NYAOH Executive Board for allowing me to lead this effort and I thank the Scholarship Committee members:  Neil Cosgrove, Kevin Cummings, Tim McSweeney, Michael Tobin and John Wolfe for their long hours during this difficult but highly successful application cycle.”  

(l-r) Tom Beirne, NYAOH Treasurer, Elizabeth Encke, 2020 NYAOH Scholarship recipient, Dermot O’Connor Moore, NYAOH Scholarship Chair and Kevin Cummings, NYAOH Assistant Webmaster and Scholarship Committee member.

Charter Presented to Thomas Addis Emmet Division 17 of Westchester County

Dan Dennehy, AOH National Director and Westchester County AOH Organizer was on hand to present the “newly minted” official charter from the National Board Ancient Order of Hibernians to the officers and members of the Thomas Addis Emmet Division 17 of Westchester County

Assisting in the presentation on May 7, 2018 was NYS Director Aidan O’Kelly-Lynch and in whose presence, dozens of new division members were sworn into the Order.  In presenting the charter to President James McGlashin (above center), Brother Dennehy commented on how pleased he was to be in the company of such “fine, young Hibernians!”

Brother Dennehy extended congratulations to President James McGlashin and his officers and in particular to Division 17 Treasurer Clive Anderson, owner and president of Pelham Funeral Home who opens his company’s doors to give the divison a meeting space. Congratulations were also offered to Westchester County President Brian Hugh Duffy, National Organizer Tim McSweeney, NYS Organizer Kevin Cummings, NYS Treasurer John Manning and to all those who played a role in brining the new division to fruition.

Photos courtesy of Dan Dennehy