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The Joy of Shamrock's Celebration:Matt's Memo

Jamie Pomilio-Mulcahy shares the microphone with Matt Mulcahy at Shamrock's Celebration.

Late in the evening the reggae beat of Bob Marley's "Don't Worry About a Thing" lifted into the open rafters of the renovated old warehouse. Lead vocalist Edgar Pagan invited one of the hosts of the evening to the front to join Grupo Pagan in song. Dressed in a sparkling gold jacket, long green skirt and gold high heeled sandals the lovely and talented Jamie took the microphone. After months of planning and organizing this fundraiser for the Shamrock Animal Fund she smiled from ear to ear and completed out the call and response... "Every little thing's going to be alright!"

It was the exclamation point on another successful Shamrock's Celebration. It wrapped up the finest hour of the evening. It was the hour after the Syracuse Orange basketball game had played out on our giant projection screen. It was the hour when the heart of the Shamrock Animal Fund had an opportunity to shine. It was the hour where tears were shed and and gratitude was offered.

Standing beneath the projected image of the late Diane Smith I found myself fighting off the tears welling up in my eyes. I explained to our guests how Diane was the first to reach out to the newly formed Shamrock Animal Fund with a promise she would help make it work. She had already been connecting the needier clients of the Fairmount Animal Hospital with as much financial assistance as she could piece together. She already knew what we were just figuring out that there are a lot of pet owners who struggle to pay for critical veterinary care.

Diane's husband Ron looked toward me as I dedicated the night to a woman to whom he had dedicated his life. I could hardly return the look and remain composed. Dr. Eileen Fatcheric of Fairmount completed the picture about the importance of Diane's work helping other. She then offered a compassionate hug to the family stung with grief from Diane's passing in February.

Dr. Marco Coronado became the first honoree to receive the newly named Diane Smith Service Award. He delighted the audience with his rosy cheeks and Peruvian accent. He offered his philsophy about the importance of balance in his work. He sees every reason to treat an ailing animal with faint regard for finances when a pet owner is in a bind. He sees the need for connection with the creatures he treats that goes beyond balancing the budget of his business. He was a tough act to follow.

Dr. Nancy Freeborough provided the perfect contrast to Dr. Coronado's effusive personality. As Jamie presented her with flowers she admitted, "Marco is a tough act to follow." Dr. Freeborough acted with the same kindness and wisdom she has exhibited for years as she has found balance in her own practice through helping pet owners with financial limitations. She offerered a thoughtful thank you to the Shamrock Animal Fund for the honor. As she left for the evening she reminded me we have a meeting Tuesday to organize April's Healthy Pet Clinic. She was already looking ahead to her next venue for helping others.

The one person who did not receive an award, but should, is that reggae singing, lovely woman who would later join the band. Jamie is the heart and soul of the Shamrock Animal Fund. Her relentless commitment to help animals and their owners has driven the success of this fledgling fund. Just hours after taking off the gold sandals she was taking calls from pet owners in distress. She works more hours as a volunteer then most people do who have a paycheck waiting at the end of the week.

Her payoff comes knowing her advice, advocacy and financial assistance made a difference in the life of a beloved pet and their family. And once in a while it's nice to join the band, lift up your arms and sing , "Every little thing's going to be alright!"

Any questions or comment please forward them to mattsmemo@CNYcentral.com. I may even use some of your thoughts on NBC 3 News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on CNYcentral.com.

The opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of the author and are not reflective of the views or opinions of Barrington Broadcasting, WSTM-NBC3, its management or employees.

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