St. Patrick’s Day got off to a great green startin Hartford Monday as more than 900 revelers with soul headed to the Connecticut Convention Center for the annual Archbishop’s St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast.
“What a turnout,” said Hartford’s new archbishop, Rev. Leonard O. Blair who was attending his first breakfast since being named as successor to newly retired former archbishop Rev. Henry J. Mansell. “I am impressed at how many people are here and the spirit.”
The spirit, drenched in Irish green, was not only due to the hundreds of devout Catholics, clergy and Catholic school supporters who turned out, but the main speaker, a guy who knows a lot about being Irish, being Catholic and tenacity.
Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans, sporting a green tie, the bluest eyes ever and a charming accent to boot, shared his story and how Boston’s upcoming marathon, the first since the 2013 race day bombings, will once underscore the city’s mantra, “Boston Strong.”
Evans, a Boston native who was an orphaned teenager said it was Father A. Paul White of the city’s Gate of Heaven Church who made sure that he stayed off the street corners and chose a positive path in life.
Marking his first breakfast as president of the fundraiser sponsor, the Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools, was Atty. Brian Giantonio.
“Years ago we decided we wanted to make this the place to go on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Giantonio about the annual event that attracts a who’s who of Hartford area business leaders, clergy and elected officials. This year’s breakfast was expected to raise about $130,000.
Among those attending were Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, former U. S. attorney-turned-UTC-VP Kevin O’Connor, Hartford Police Chief James Rovella, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center president/CEO Chris Dadlez and Archdiocese of Hartford Bishop Christie A. Macaluso.