St. Pat’s Pool Tournament and Chili Cook-Off February 9

The Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is kicking off another season of fund raising and a wee bit of fun for all!

In my last post I shared my burning desire to be The Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Queen. That was the initial reason I volunteered for the committee that organizes the parade. Was I crowned queen…? Oh please, I need a teaser for you to keep reading! Stay tuned. That was many years ago and although I cannot devote as much time as I used to, I still enjoy being a part of something so special.

I also mentioned in the last post that I agreed to be a part of this organization at The Red Lyon Tavern, and that my life has changed in many ways because of this place. I watched several hundred KU Basketball games there, met friends from all over the country and the world, discussed many earth shattering subjects such as “Where should they split The Deathly Hallows for the seventh and eighth Harry Potter movies?”, and most importantly that is where I met my husband, Gary. We had our wedding reception there too. Jerry and Sue that own the place and their son, Chris runs the place now have always been big supporters of the St. Pat’s Parade and the fund raising events that go along with it.

During my first year in the parade committee circa 1998 , I found myself signing up for many duties, on my quest to in don a tiara .T-shirts sales, finding sponsors and donors auction items, and decorating for the auction. (I guess all of those design classes on the hill pay off now and again). I enjoyed all of this and better still got to know so many great people in town including Hank Booth who I still refer to affectionate as “Uncle Hank”.

The way this group of diverse people come together to put on a terrific parade and raise lot money for local children’s charities is truly inspirational. And the really inspirational is that no one is paid a dime for the time and work that is needed to do all that is done. Years ago I was asked by someone who’s profession was in nonprofit work (no names, please) asked me how we can do so much without a SINGLE paid staff member. The answer is simple, Irish spirit. My personal roots are in County Cork in Ireland on my dad’s side. Mom’s family was all from Germany. (So I guess Oktoberfest is acceptable).

Americans stereotyped the Irish new immigrants as lazy, unintelligent, carefree criminals and alcoholics. They even named the Paddy Wagon after us. None of it true of course. If this was true we would not have President Kennedy, Georgia O’Keefe, Walt Disney, Henry Ford or Conan O’Brien. The negative image did not stop these great artists, industrialists, and world leaders (I am referring of course to Conan). We the members of The St. Patrick’s Day parade Committee embrace the Irish spirit. No matter what, if your spirit is in it, it will be done.

The next event is the annual Pool Tournament and Chili Cook-Off, both together on the same day and location! February 9th (My sister’s birthday, happy birthday, Jenna!) Registration for both is at 11:00. Start playing at noon. Be there and help us raise money for our 2013 charities, The Ballard Center, Lawrence Arts Center and County Fair Swim Club. More information is one the website. Go to for all of the events and how you can get involved, and find us on Facebook.

Brenda Brown is the Director of Development and Marketing for Independence, Inc. But she volunteers her time to The Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

Tagged: Irish spirit, Ireland, Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Hank Booth, The Red Lyon Tavern


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