2021 Celtic Connection Shillelagh Award Presented to COVID-19 Researchers and Frontline Workers

Announcing the 2021 Celtic Connection Shillelagh Award:

Dedicated to our COVID-19 Researchers and Frontline Workers

The 13th Annual Celtic Connection took place on Saturday, March 13th as a completely virtual event. The event committee joined together to plan this outstanding Building Friends for a Cure (BFC) community fundraiser. Celtic Connection has become the largest BFC event through the outstanding support of event sponsors and the tenacity and creativity of a longstanding committee. The event celebrated St. Patrick’s Day each year and honors Irish heritage. This year’s event raised an outstanding $113,000 for Alpha-1 research and programs.

This year’s program was hosted online using the ZOOM platform and guests were entertained with performances and interviews with The Harney Academy of Irish Dance, an interactive silent auction and raffle coupled with educational discussions. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day beautiful Irish songs were sung and performed on flute. The Foundation’s own, Angela McBride kicked off the event with the Ireland national anthem, Kailey Walsh sang the US national anthem and “The Parting Glass.” Guests were amazed with Peg Iverson’s flute playing of “Danny Boy.” The program included fun limericks from Alphas from around the country.

The highlight each year is the presentation of the Shillelagh Award. The Shillelagh is a traditional Celtic weapon associated with Ireland, and the award symbolizes the battle that Alpha-1 doctors, researchers, and leadership wage against Alpha-1.

Fred Walsh, Celtic Connection committee member and 2nd Vice Chair of the Alpha-1 Foundation Board of Director’s had the pleasure of presenting the 2021 Shillelagh Award at this year’s event. The year the award was presented to our COVID-19 Researchers and Frontline Workers. The amazing Alpha-1 researchers and frontline workers stood by our community and provided guidance to Alphas throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They worked tirelessly on COVID-19 related research and, of course, held the hands of many Alphas in intensive care units across the world.

Past recipients of the award joined the event and graciously accepted the award of behalf of all their colleagues around the world. It was a moving moment during the event as many reflected on how far we have come in just one year.

Previous recipients of this notable award include:

2010- Dr. Terry Flotte and Dr. Darrell Kotton

2011- Dr. Gordon Snider

2012- Professor Gerry McElvaney

2013- Dr. Robert “Sandy” Sandhaus and Dr. Edward Silverman

2014- Dr. Gerry Turino and Dr. Andrew Wilson

2015- Dr. Bartolome Celli and John W. Walsh & Fred Walsh

2016- Dr. Chris Muller and Dr. Scott Kopec

2017- AlphaNet

2018- Dr. Jeanine D’Armiento

2019- Dr. Charlie Strange

2020- Dr. Ginger Clark

Thank you to our generous sponsors that made this virtual event possible:

Event Sponsors: AlphaNet, CSL Behring and Grifols

Celtic Champion Sponsors: Cisco, Presidio Cybersecurity and Gordon & Ruth Cadwgan

Virtual Pot O’ Gold Sponsors: Ergonomic Group and Navin Haffty

Lucky Charm Sponsor: Beam Therapeutics, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and HealthNet Systems Consulting Inc.

A very special thank you to the Celtic Connection committee: Bob Healy, Julie Berry, Team Bravo, Dan Coffin, Kathi Coffin, Sheila Favazza, Siobhan Lestina, Richard Lovrich, Fred Walsh, Ginger Watkins and Rick White.


For more information on this year’s Celtic Connection event or to make a donation, please visit https://one.bidpal.net/celticconnection2021/welcome