Are you of Irish descent? Do you wish you were? The Irish Social Club of Palm Coast is a monthly social club and non-profit organization open to everyone who may want to join in socializing, dancing, and fundraising for local charities.
Aside from the club’s monthly social gatherings, they contribute to local causes and support the community at large. The club performs charity collections twice a year, graduating senior scholarships in the springtime, and a Veteran’s Day dinner where veterans are invited to come enjoy dinner at the club, free if they’re members.
Abbie Wyckoff, Director of the Irish Social Club in Charge of Charities, helps with each of these community efforts. The club focuses its twice-a-year donations on the Grace Community Food Pantry and Whispering Meadows Ranch.
“We ask [members] to bring in food items that are nonperishable, and in plastic or paper, no glass. We collect it all one night at the meeting and then we take it to the community center in Bunnell,” Wyckoff said. “The food pantry delivers to veterans, the public schools, and they serve adults and children.”
The donation is then weighed at an estimated value of $2.10 per pound, as well as adding on any cash or check donations the club members gave to the pantry. Last year, the Irish Social Club raised $562.80 worth of food and $470.00 in monetary donations, according to the Grace Community Food Pantry.
Similarly to the Grace Community Food Pantry drive, the club holds a donation drive for the Whispering Meadows Ranch. It focuses more on dry household goods such as paper towels, soap, and plastic utensils.
“It’s a therapy ranch, where they give therapy to veterans, handicapped children, and special needs children,” Wyckoff said. “They are affiliated with the public school system, so that special needs kids from classes in public schools are invited to help with the horses, and they have arts and crafts classes for them, and they have a foster care program where kids in foster homes come to the stables and groom the horses and do arts and crafts as well.”
Donation drives are vital for these organizations to be able to continue providing their services to the community, and the Irish Social Club of Palm Coast makes a significant impact.
“They’re able to survive and continue all their good work by getting all these items that are collected and given to them so they don’t have to spend the money to buy the supplies,” Wyckoff said. “This is where we come in and help them with all the supplies that they need all the time.”
In addition to charitable drives, the club offers scholarships to two graduating high school seniors. In years past it’s been offered to all graduating seniors from the local high schools, but this year the club has a different process. It’s now offered primarily to seniors that are family of active club members.
“[We changed] it over to make it more accessible to children and grandchildren of members of the Irish Social Club,” Wyckoff said. “We are going to do that this year to see how well it works out.”
The Irish Social Club of Palm Coast meets the second Wednesday of each month at the Italian-American Social Club’s venue for dinner dances, including table service dinners and live musical performances. Application for membership is a one-time initiation fee of $35 and dues are an additional $35 per year.
For more information about the Irish Social Club of Palm Coast, including membership, call Craig Powers, Director of Membership, 386-447-3260.