The Rockville Centre
St. Patrick's Parade
The Rockville Centre St. Patrick's Parade first stepped off on March 22, 1997 and has over the course of 23 years become one of the best-attended and supported parades outside of New York City. The Rockville Centre St. Patrick's Parade annually shares its success with three worthy charities, which are National, Irish, and local focused. Since the parade's inception in 1997, over 1.2 million dollars has been distributed to 67 separate charities. Rockville Centre's St. Patrick's Parade is "The Parade that Cares and Shares"® It is an IRS registered 501 ( c ) 3 non-for-profit corporation.
Specifically, in its 23 years the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade has always been and remains to this day the ONLY KNOWN NEW YORK STATE ST. PATRICK’S PARADE that
(a) donates all of its net proceeds to charity
(b) donates 1/3 of its net proceeds to Irish Charities, the vast majority that of which have been located in Ireland itself;
(c) selects different charities to support each year, with the selected charities having causes as (d) disparate as helping establish The Irish Studies Institute at Molly College to numerous children’s hospitals and combating children’s health afflictions;
(e) has donated over 80% of its 1.3 million dollars in charitable giving to causes that benefit children and students;
(f) has a registered trademark that emphasized its charitable mission, i.e. "The Parade that Cares and Shares"®
(g) has an active membership of 80, over 50% were new comers to Rockville Centre when they joined the Committee – indeed, many members do not reside in Rockville Centre
has had a female President for 6 of the last 10 years
The Parade steps off each year on the Saturday falling after St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, and annually features over 120 different organizations and luminaries, including U.S. Senator Charles Schumer for many years now.
The Grand Marshals of the Parade have included (i) a member of the Ireland America Economic Advisory Board instrumental in providing the economic dimension that provided the necessary underpinning for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (formally known as the Belfast Agreement), for which he was honored as the initial recipient of the National Committee On America’s Foreign Policy, “Initiative For Peace Award”, and was selected by Irish America magazine as one of the “Greatest Irish Americans of the Century”; (ii) a U.S. Congressman, now serving his 20th year in the U.S. House of Representatives; (iii) one Bishop of the Archdiocese of Rockville Centre; (iv) one Major General in the U.S. Army; (v) three Chief Executive Officers (“CEOs”) of major corporations; (vi) the 11-year Special Assistant to the New York State Governor for Irish Affairs; (vii) a Managing Partner of a 300 plus lawyer major international law firm headquartered in New York City; (viii) a highly decorated New York City Detective; (ix) two (2) separate Mayors of Rockville Centre and two (2) separate Rockville Centre Village Trustees; (x) two (2) separate investment advisors/Vice Presidents for major Wall Street brokerage firms; (xi) a Nassau County Legislator; (xii) six (6) separate local business owners; (xiii) a long-time Nassau County Deputy Commissioner for Parks and Recreation; and (xiv) a long-time Nassau County Athletic Director. The Grand Marshals can trace their roots to a majority of the traditional 32 counties of Ireland.
The Parade emblem is a fusion of Irish-American Culture and Traditions as represented by the American and Irish Flags. The Irish Wolfhound predates Celtic Ireland and is a powerful symbol of majesty and pace. The Irish Wolfhound is the mascot of the Fighting 69th Regiment whose motto best epitomizes the temperament of the Wolfhound "Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked." The Wolfhound on the emblem is 'Desmond' the first Rockville Centre Parade Mascot. The Harp and the Shamrock are traditional symbols which are held dear to many Irish Americans. The Harp represents the great musical heritage of Ireland while the Shamrock is symbolic of Ireland's Religious Traditions. Irish American Artist Bernie O’Boyle did the Artwork on the emblem.
"The Parade that Cares and Shares"
The Rockville Centre St. Patrick's Parade Committee commissioned this Brooch in 2003 to be presented to the Grand Marshal each year to wear during the Parade Day. The Brooch is back dated to the First Parade, and all the previous Grand Marshal names are recorded in the case. The idea of the Brooch is to continue the tradition of succession in terms of those who have previously been honored as Grand Marshal.
The Brooch design is from an original concept designed by John and Maureen English. The Brooch was made by Mullingar Pewter Co. Westmeath, Ireland, and was graciously donated to the Rockville Centre St. Patrick's Parade Committee by Kathleen Alcock, of Kathleen's of Donegal.