Hoolie benefits scholarship to Ireland for NCMC student
Jessie Nieves and Nic Gareiss will perform at the Robert Emmet Society Hoolie fundraiser on Saturday, March 16, at Stafford's Perry Hotel in Petoskey. (Courtesy photo / March 13, 2013)
The Robert Emmet Hoolie has become a gathering of the extended Northern Michigan clan of those who are Irish and those who wish they were Irish for a celebration of St. Patrick's Day and Robert Emmet, namesake of Emmet County.
The Robert Emmet Society launched the event eight years ago with the help of Blissfest Music Organization to help raise funds to send an outstanding North Central Michigan College student to study for a semester in Galway, Ireland.
The scholarship award is named for Joseph McCarthy, a Petoskey businessman, and William McCullough M.D., a Petoskey physician, who were active members of the Robert Emmet Society since its founding in the early 1990s. The society was founded to promote awareness in Emmet County of its namesake, Robert Emmet, an Irish patriot executed by the British in 1803 for leading a revolt against Ireland's long-time foreign rulers.
This year's Robert Emmet Society Hoolie will feature an Irish menu, a silent auction, joke contest, door prizes and the annual tribute to the "Patron Saint" of Finland. St. Urho, who legend says drove the grasshoppers from that country and saved the grapevines. St. Urho Day is widely celebrated in the Upper Peninsula on March 16.
The highlight of the annual Hoolie celebration is local and imported music and dance talent. "Life after Limerick" will highlight the event featuring Nic Gareiss and Jessie Nieves, both of whom attended the prestigious Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick, Ireland. They present a rousing show of Irish tunes and stepdancing. Local artists participating will include Dr. Goodhart and the Hooligans who are well versed in jigs, reels, rare classics and Irish American sing-alongs. The evening will be rounded out with performances by Weaving the Wind, singers Hannah Stoppel and Gaeyle Gerrie, bagpipers Geoff Clark and Jeremy McBain, and the Heather Dance Harbor Group.
Sponsors for the event include The Blissfest Music Organization, Stafford's Perry Hotel, County Emmet Celtic Shop and Magners Irish Cider.
For more info go to www.emmetsociety.org. Admission to the Hoolie is $10 for adults, $5 for students.