ICCWNE Announces $2 Million Capstone Campaign Launch

At a festive reception on April 2, 2024 featuring Massachusetts Congressman and Honorary Campaign Chair, Richard Neal, West Springfield Mayor and Campaign Committee member, William Reichelt, and ICCWNE Board President and Campaign Chair, Sean Cahillane, the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England announced the formal launch of its Capstone Capital Campaign to raise the final $2 million needed to complete its facility at 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield, MA.

Funds from the Capstone Campaign will be used to complete the Community Performance Center, which will serve the needs of the greater region for concerts, events, meetings, and private functions. Notably, the Community Performance Center will provide a home for local, regional, national, and international performance groups, making it a full-scale regional base for Irish heritage and culture as well as a center for cross-cultural collaboration. The space will be able to house performances by major Irish cultural groups, such as Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, as well as regional performers of all ages.

“What a fine example this project is, of building and strengthening the bonds that tie us together,” said Congressman Neal. “The essence of the ICCWNE is community, and this space provides a place for cultural expression and for people to gather in friendship while sharing their cultural heritage. I am so proud of the progress that has been made, and am gratified that completion is now in sight.”

“We’ve been working diligently throughout the winter to build campaign momentum,” Cahillane said, “and we are so grateful to our good friend Congressman Neal for agreeing to be honorary chair. His support for our Center has been instrumental in our success to date.”

According to Cahillane the Capstone Campaign is close to reaching its first milestone – meeting a $200,000 challenge grant from the Mass Cultural Council’s Mass Cultural Facilities Fund. “We are very close to achieving this important match, so I encourage folks to step up now.”

The Center is encouraging families to come together to coalesce family commitments, and is seeking grants and corporate support as well. “Just as our Center strengthens ties and bonds between and across groups and generations, this campaign can build and strengthen community and familial bonds as well,” said Cahillane.

Formerly the home of the Elks Lodge, the facility had been vacant for five years prior to the ICCWNE taking possession of it through a partnership with the City of West Springfield. Improvements have included developing a vibrant, Irish country-style restaurant, pub and meeting and gathering place for Patrons and the community. It includes 11,500 square feet of space on four floors. The facility has become the ideal setting and home for the ICCWNE, which was established in 1999.

Mayor Reichelt said the ICCWNE is a vibrant gathering spot, and that the Community Performance Center will expand the impact that the Center as a whole has on city residents and visitors alike.

“The progress that the campaign has been making is truly impressive, and I look forward to additional milestone announcements and construction later this year,” Reichelt said. “The Center has become a cultural crossroads for West Side, especially for those with Irish heritage. We’re proud to host them and to see the Community Performance Center complete.”

Read more about the campaign and ways to give >

View WWLP-TV22 News coverage of the event >

See more photos from the event in our Facebook gallery >  

Congressman Richard Neal
Congressman Richard Neal
Will Reichelt and Sean Cahillane
West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt and ICCWNE President Sean Cahillane
Community Performance Center
Future home of the Community Performance Center on the 4th floor
Community Performance Center group and interview
Mayor Will Reichelt, Congressman Richard Neal, ICCWNE Vice President Ed Sullivan, and ICCWNE Board Member Will Carey / Congressman Richard Neal being interviewed about the campaign
Trinity Pub and Irish Session
Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub during the campaign launch / Trad Irish Session musicians David Clopp, Ellen Redman, and Seán Burke