Mar 12, 2014

Parish youth group hosts successful Irish Family Night in Westfield



(Photos courtesy of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish)

Staff report

WESTFIELD – Irish music filled the air and shamrocks, green tinsel, and balloons decorated the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish Center, here, on Saturday, March 8 for Family Irish Night.  

Sarah the Fiddler and Friends took the stage, and young and old took to the dance floor to celebrate Irish heritage. The evening was sponsored by the church’s youth group, the JPII Crew, as a fundraiser for their 2016 trip to World Youth Day in Poland.   

Sarah the Fiddler and Friends played Irish folk songs, polkas and even German music. Sarah Michel thrilled the audience as she left the stage to serenade them by playing tableside. Accompanying Michel were Joe Dziok on piano, Charles Smith on cello and Keith DaSilva on percussions.  

Dance lessons, provided by Maura Cassin of the Cassin Academy of Irish Dance in East Longmeadow, gave many in attendance the bravado to take to the dance floor stepping to the music. The audience was mesmerized by the performance of 10-year-old parishioner Riley Byrnes from the McDermott Academy of Irish Dance in Westfield.  

Also entertaining the crowd with soft shoe and Irish tap dance were several young costumed lassies from the Cassin Academy of Irish Dance.  

Another highlight of the night was the drawing of raffle winners for the more than 60 themed baskets. Created and donated by parishioners in the previous few weeks, the baskets included: Tee Time, Pizza Night, Italian Dinner, Ice Cream Lovers, a bouquet of instant lottery tickets, Gardening, Welcome to the World Baby Boy, Chocolate Lovers, Automotive and dozens of others. Raffle tickets were sold after Masses and on Saturday night during the program.  

Activities for children included face painting, arts and crafts, and cookie decorating. The evening also included homemade potato soup, corned beef sandwiches, and cookies sold by the JPII Crew.  

The event proved so successful, plans are in the works for Family Irish Night 2015.