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TOPS Rochester St. Patrick's Day Parade Honorees

The 2018 TOPS Rochester St. Patrick's Day Parade Honorees 

Michael McCarthy 

Grand Marshal
Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy, now retired, was the Director of Safety and Security for St. John Fisher College for 15 years. Previously, he served with the Rochester Police Department where he retired as a Police Investigator and during that time, Mike served thirteen years on the SWAT Team. Mike has instructed at the Monroe County Public Safety Training Academy and has also presented a variety of training programs to other area police and security organizations.

In May 2006, Mike presented “First Responders Role for Emotional Disturbed Persons” to the European Association of Campus Security in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was also a guest panel member for an international web seminar: “How to Respond Effectively to Troubled or Suicidal College Students: Developing Community Approaches and Strategies.”

Michael earned his Masters degree in Human Resource Development from St. John Fisher College. Mike has published three historical novels: From Cork to the New World (2009), The Flight of the Wretched (2011) and The Children of Michigan Street (2016).

Mike is currently the President of the Rochester Chapter of the Irish American Cultural Institute. The Institute’s mission is to promote the cultural aspects of Irish Americanism through its rich history, music, literature, cinema, dance, art and theater, both locally and nationally. Mike is proud to head up these efforts with presenting local, area, national and international talent through their programs.

He is also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Colonel O’Rorke Society, as well as serving on the Advisory Board for the Irish Studies Program at St. John Fisher College.

Mike and his wife Ann have three children, and seven grandchildren, and in their spare time they enjoy spending time with all of them, as well as kayaking and camping.

It is with great pleasure that we honor Michael McCarthy, a leader in our community, as the Grand Marshal for the 2018 TOPS St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

IAC Kids  

Community Organization of the Year
IAC Kids

It's About Caring for Kids (IACKids) was created in 2012 for the charitable purpose of aiding middle-income families living in the Greater Rochester area who are in need of financial assistance during their child’s long-term hospitalization. 

Neil, John and Anthony Butera, three brothers, as well as their cousin Nino Pilato, and their good friend Loreto Barbone started the organization to honor a dear friend’s son, who passed away from a rare blood disorder.

 IACKids helps families who do not qualify for government assistance because they have jobs. 

 When parents learn that their child is ill, they have a very tough decision to make… Do they leave them in the hospital alone while they’re at work or do they go on medical leave to be by their side?

  IACKids makes the decision for them to take unpaid medical leave from work and provides these amazing moms and dads with financial assistance to cover housing, transportation, and medical costs during their child's treatment.

   IACKids has allowed parents to be by their child's side during their treatment and not have to worry about how their bills are going to be paid.

  Since 2012, IACKids has raised over $1 million through the amazing generosity of so many wonderful personal and corporate donors.
  Through their partnership with the Pediatric Social Work team at Golisano Children’s Hospital, IACKids has supported over 150 local families during their time of need.

 It is a great honor to recognize these wonderful men and IACKids as the Community Organization of the Year for the 2018 TOPS Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

 Read more about IACKids on their website @
The annual IACKids “Open Your Hearts” gala will be held on March 3, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Downtown.

The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese got their start as a band playing back-up for another musician on St. Patrick’s Day in 1998 at Annie Murphy’s Fiddlers Green Pub in Charlotte, N.Y.

  The original band was a trio comprised of Eamonn McCormack on lead vocals, bodhran, and spoons, Stephen Trout on rhythm and lead guitar, and Jym Ellison on 6 and 12 string guitar and vocals.

The band played for benefits and parties for local Irish dance schools and was the regularly scheduled band when Ms. Murphy moved her pub to a larger venue on Lake Avenue.

 In 1999, when Annie Murphy married Steve Trout, the band took on a new member, Ben Mac An Tuile, Annie’s brother.
Ben came to America to give his sister away.

 At their wedding he met his future wife Maeve Elam.
The addition of Ben, playing 4 string banjo, harmonica, mandolin, Irish fiddle, whistle, and guitar, gave the band a new dimension and opened up their musicality with more complex harmonies and entertaining stage banter.

As the band’s reputation spread, more jobs appeared locally and regionally in Batavia and Syracuse, with a Millennium ending show at Annie Murphy’s Fiddlers Green on New Year’s Eve 1999.

 The New Year brought about changes in the band’s line up as Steve left to pursue other musical interests, and the band was a trio again for a very short time.

Kevin Reynolds was recruited to fill the empty spot, and it freed Jym to shift over to playing bass guitar, and Ben to take a more active role on rhythm and leads.

At this time the band decided to record their first CD, entitled Ceol, Ol argus Craic released on St. Patrick’s Day 2001 at a 12-hour marathon performance at Fiddlers Green.

 In June of the year, the band was back to trio status as conflicting work schedules and family obligations caused Jym to leave the band.
 On many occasions since, Jym and Steve joined the Wild Geese on-stage for benefits and festivals.

 The band’s evolution continued as Maeve joined the band in 2001 on bass, followed by Peg Dolan in 2007 on guitar, both bringing beautiful female vocals and style to the band.

For over 15 years the band has loved playing music with such a great group of friends.

 Their journeys have taken them from Rochester to Syracuse, from Buffalo to Auburn, from Cortland to a few hundred places in-between.
They’ve played festivals, (most notably the Rochester Irish Festival) parties, pubs, fundraisers, and even a wake or two, and all the time saying, “We had more fun than should ever be allowed!”

The band recorded two more CDs… Back to the Boozer, and Unplucked, Live at Johnny’s Irish Pub. One CD features Eamonn’s passionate rendition of The Green Fields of France, known to all as his signature song, and one which he always dedicates to the Men & Women in uniform.

 One of the Wild Geese’s biggest passions is giving back to the community.

 With the help of many friends, they have been able to raise money and assist with a variety of local charities and causes, including the Irish Children’s Program, the Police Unity Tour, the Billy Lawler Huntington Disease Fundraiser, Tsunami Relief, Help for Haiti and the Salvation Army.

 The Wild Geese would like to say, “Thank You” to the Irish community for all the love and support throughout their musical career.
We are honored to recognize the Wild Geese as the Community Leaders of the Year for the 2018 TOPS Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Jimmy Crowley

Business Leader of the Year

Jimmy Crowley (James Crowley Plumbing)

Jimmy Crowley is a lifelong Rochesterian and the third-generation leader of James Crowley Plumbing.

  Since 1928, the Crowley family has been providing quality plumbing services to the Rochester community.

 The business originated 90 years ago, when Jimmy's grandfather, an immigrant from County Cork, Ireland, started and operated James Crowley Plumbing from the family home. 

 He later moved the operation to Thurston Road in 1944, where it remains today.
  Jimmy's dad, Jim, was at the helm for over 50 years.

His dad was extremely active in the Rochester Irish community and was the St. Patrick's Day Parade Business Leader of the year in 1994. Jimmy’s mom Pat was a long-time member of the Parade Committee, was the Grand Marshal in 2000, as well as a current member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Shannonside Ceili Dancers.
 Jimmy, a licensed Master Plumber, is a 1992 graduate of McQuaid Jesuit High School and a 1996 graduate of LeMoyne College. 
 Jimmy and his wife Tracey live in Ionia with their three children.

  He is an active member of St. Catherine's Church, an advocate and supporter of Catholic schools, a member of the Knights of Columbus, active in youth hockey, and a long-time participant in the Rochester St. Patrick's Day Parade. 

 Honesty, integrity, superior service and quality workmanship are the pillars on which James Crowley Plumbing was built, and those same values continue to be the cornerstone of the business today.

 On the 90th anniversary of Crowley Plumbing, we are pleased to recognize Jimmy Crowley as the Business Leader of the Year for the 2018 TOPS Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Dan Caverly 

Citizen of the Year

Dan Caverly

Dan Caverly is the son of Irish immigrants from Skibbereen, County Cork, and was born and raised in Rochester.

 In November 2005, Dan was able to fulfill his longtime goal of opening an Irish pub.
Since opening the pub, Dan has been fortunate to have met many great people, including his wife Lidza.

Caverly's Irish Pub, with its cozy atmosphere has become a staple in the local South Wedge neighborhood.
 In the spirit of Ireland's pubs, you'll feel like you just entered your best friend's living room.

Historical memorabilia and traditional Irish culture surround the quaint corner pub. 

 Dan takes pride in helping to support our Rochester community by organizing an annual golf tournament in which all proceeds are donated to the fight against Huntington's Disease.

 Dan is also very grateful to be able to contribute to, as well as, host the annual Police Unity Tour fundraiser.
 The proceeds of this fundraiser go towards the annual bicycle ride from New Jersey to Washington, DC.
The tour is in honor of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty and helps to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.

Dan and his wife Lidza were married in 2015 and were blessed with the birth of their daughter a year later.
 They live in the Highland Park neighborhood and are members of St. Boniface parish.
Dan is also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Rochester Police Emerald Society, and the Business Association of the South Wedge Area.
Caverly's Irish pub is open seven days a week and is located at 741 South Avenue in the South Wedge.
 It is our honor to recognize Dan Caverly as the Citizen of the Year for the 2018 TOPS Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

John Patrick Sullivan

Honorary Marshal

John Patrick Sullivan

John Patrick Sullivan has graced us as the leprechaun in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade for almost 30 years.

John’s journey as the leprechaun all started back in 1979, when he was working as a Food Service Manager at Kodak.
One of his employees suggested they decorate the cafeteria in green and make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day.
This employee also said, “Hmmm, you know who would make a great leprechaun, don’t you?”

John went down to Arlene’s Costume Shop and the next thing you know…a star was born!

Year after year, the celebration at Kodak grew and after a couple years, John’s manager would give him the day off every St. Patrick’s Day, so he could tour all the Kodak cafeterias around the clock.
Not long after, an usher at John’s church, Christ the King, said, “I’m on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee and we could sure use a guy like you in the Parade!”

 John finally bought that costume from Arlene’s, and his wife Patricia helped him perfect it over the years.

As the leprechaun, John has visited hospitals, appeared at retirement parties, been interviewed on TV, and even given away a bride.

 When visiting schools, John encourages kids to interview their grandparents or the oldest person they know, to learn life lessons from them, and find out more about their ancestors.
When asked what he’s enjoyed most about being the leprechaun, John said he’s loved meeting hundreds of wonderful people and bringing a smile to their faces.

John grew up in the town of Irondequoit, attended Aquinas Institute, spent two years in the Navy, and graduated from Niagara University in 1961.

 He and his dear wife, who passed away two years ago, were blessed with three sons.

John has decided to retire as the leprechaun and hang up his shillelagh, but we couldn’t let him go without recognizing him as the Honorary Marshal for the 2018 TOPS RochesterSt. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Eileen Culhane

In Memoriam Honoree
Eileen Culhane

“When Irish eyes are smiling sure they’ll steal your heart away,” and that is exactly what Eileen Garvey Culhane spent her life doing.
A dedicated leader in the Rochester Irish community, member of the Shannonside Ceili Dancers, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother; Eileen poured her heart into every aspect of her life.

Eileen was born to William and Margaret Garvey of Mendon, NY.

She married Michael Culhane of County Kerry, Ireland in 1955.
They had three beautiful children Bridget, Maggie and Thomas.

In 1974, she started her involvement with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade when she joined the organizing committee.
 A few years later, Eileen’s father, William Garvey, was designated Grand Marshal of the Parade.

 Her love of all things Irish started with her parents, both immigrants from Ireland.

Eileen was instrumental in the organization of the Colleen of the Shamrocks which is now known as the Ambassador to Waterford.
She also chaired the Parade Committee, participated in many political and community organizations, and was a member of countless Irish programs. After years of dedication to the Rochester Irish community, she was chosen to serve as Grand Marshal of the 1997 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

 Even when her memory started to fail, the color green always put a smile on her face.

In 2017, Eileen passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

 Eileen’s Irish spirit lives on through her legacy, both in her accomplishments and her family.

We are proud to honor her as one of our “In Memoriam” honorees for the 2018 TOPS Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Heather Gerber

In Memoriam Honoree

Heather Gerber

Heather Maureen Gerber was a woman full of faith and love.

Nothing was more important to her than God, family, and friends
Growing up in Canandaigua, Heather discovered her passion for sign language.
That passion led to many opportunities that helped her live a full life including travel and sisterhood in the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority at RIT.
That sisterhood is what brought her to the St Patrick's Day parade, and this committee. 

Heather first volunteered as a banner carrier for the parade on a cold, wintery day and soon after found out she was diagnosed with leukemia.
That didn’t stop her from joining our committee and she inspired us all by fighting a courageous battle against her disease.
Heather was outgoing and had a smile that could make anyone feel welcome.

She used that smile and her abundance of courage to better herself and those around her.

She loved her work in the deaf community, whether it was interpreting or helping to raise up the next generation of interpreters.
She would even bring her students to our parade meetings, so they could practice their interpreting listening to our discussions.
Heather's devotion to her husband, family, friends and the St Patrick's Day Parade is what made Heather,
Heather. Her legacy lives on in the hearts of her family and friends.
 It is our honor to recognize Heather Gerber, a woman who gave so much to the Rochester community, as one of our “In Memoriam” honorees for the 2018 TOPS Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade.


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Contact Us


TOPS Rochester St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee
6558 4th Section Rd.
Box 199
Brockport, NY 14420-2472


The St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of Rochester's oldest  traditions.

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