Annmarie Acosta was born in New York City, one of three daughters of Catherine O’Leary Acosta and Ernie Acosta. Her maternal grandparents were from County Cork. She attended Visitation School in the Bronx, and graduated from Beach Channel High School, Rockaway Park. Annmarie attended Queens College, and in 2007, earned a Master’s Degree in Irish Traditional Music from the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Annmarie is grateful to have studied traditional Irish dance and music with the best teachers, including Jerry Mulvihill, Donny Golden, and Maureen Glynn Connolly. In 1998, she became the Senior All-Ireland Champion in the Accompaniment category at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. That same year she earned her T.C.R.G., founded the Acosta School of Irish Music and Dance, and was named one of the Top 100 Irish Americans of the Year by Irish America Magazine.
Since opening the School, Annmarie has taught many young musicians and dancers in the New York area. Her students have achieved awards at all levels, including international, and have performed at festivals, concerts, on radio, and at the 2008 Youth rally honoring Pope Benedict’s visit. She has adjudicated fleadhanna at many levels, and serves as an SCT examiner. She has released two recordings of step dancing music, Over the Bridge and Rince Ceol. She has taught at Traditional Irish music programs including Irish Arts Week in NY, O’Flaherty’s Retreat in Texas, and Scoil Eigse in Ireland. Her students have become skilled feis musicians. She recently earned her ADCRG certificate, and is qualified to adjudicate Irish dance competitions.
While in Limerick, earning her Master’s in 2007, Annmarie studied piano, piano accordion, harp, concertina, and fiddle. After returning to New York, she taught Traditional Irish Music and Dance as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University.
Annmarie is currently Chairperson of the Killoran-Clancy-Whelan branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE). She belongs to various associations for Irish Dance Teachers, is a member of the Irish Dancing Commission in Ireland, and the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Committee. She is a parent volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America. Annmarie was inducted into the Mid-Atlantic CCE Hall of Fame in 2018, and was previously honored at St. Patrick’s Parades in both Queens County and Park Slope.
Annmarie and her husband, James Williams, live in Rockaway Beach with their children Aoibhinn, Eirnan, and Mallaidh. They are members of Saint Camillus Parish.
Father William Cleary
Father William Cleary was born in the Bronx, the youngest of three children of Margaret Coyle and Joseph P. Cleary. His maternal ancestors were from Counties Monahan and Derry, and his paternal grandparents were from Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, and Gortnahoe, Co. Tipperary. Fr. Cleary has a sister, Diane. His brother, Joseph is married to Gwen; and their daughter is Emily. He has several aunts, uncles, and cousins in the Yonkers area.
Father Cleary attended St. Margaret of Cortona Grammar School, Regis High School, and SUNY Binghamton, before enrolling in St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie. He was ordained a Priest of the Archdiocese of New York by Edward Cardinal Egan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on May 15, 2004.
In 2004, he became Parochial Vicar at the Church of St. Frances de Chantal in Throggs Neck. In 2007, he was sent to Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and earned a degree in Sacred Scripture in 2011. After a 6 month assignment at the Church of St. Columba in Hopewell Junction, Fr. Cleary was assigned as a Professor at St. Joseph’s Seminary, and is still there, teaching Scripture courses. In 2017, he was made Dean of Seminarians, and in 2019 was named Interim Rector at the departure/promotion of Msgr. Peter Vaccari. He is now serving as Vice Rector at the Seminary.
Father Cleary enjoys his work at the Seminary, as well as helping weekends at the Churches of St. John the Baptist and St. Eugene in Yonkers. He serves as Chaplain to local Knights of Columbus and LAOH. He is honored to be Chaplain for the County Sligo S. and B. Association of New York. Fr. Cleary is also honored to be Chaplain for the Yonkers Fire Department since 2016, continuing the work of the great Father Tom McDonald.
Father Cleary wants to thank the Parade Committee, as well as his family and friends for their support and prayers at this gift. He prays, “May God bless you and Our Lady keep you. St. Patrick and all the Saints of Ireland, pray for us!”
Joan Henchy was born in Yonkers to the late Mary Kiely (nee Keane) of Ballylongford, Co. Kerry and Dan Kiely. When she was four, the family returned to Dan’s native Tarbert, Co. Kerry, and Joan was raised there with her brother and two sisters. After attending Tarbert National and graduating from Tarbert Comprehensive School, Joan attended Jon Shiels Academy of Hair Dressing in Tralee, Co. Kerry. In 1985, her parents encouraged Joan to return to New York. She agreed to try it for 6 months, and has been here ever since.
Joan’s father, who served as a Senator in County Kerry, was a big Gaelic Athletic Association fan, and his love for the native games was passed down to Joan. Her daughters played GAA as children, and eventually in the late the late 1990’s, Joan herself became an active member. She was soon elected a Trustee of the NY GAA. Through the next 2 decades she served in various positions: Secretary, Public Relations Officer and Registrar. In December 2019, Joan shattered a glass ceiling with her election as the first female Chairperson of the male dominated New York GAA. Joan focuses on creating a bridge from youth teams to the senior squad, and working to make sure that the New York GAA remains part of the Connacht Championship. She knows the importance of fundraising to make Gaelic Park the proper facility to grow the games.
Joan is a member of the Kerry Football Club, where she has received honors such as Guest of Honor and Club Person of the Year. She received the Houlihan Campbell award from Donegal GFC. Joan has been recognized for her efforts by the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, and is there for the Aisling Center when called upon.
Joan has worked in home health hospice care for 20 years, providing care, compassion, and comfort to patients in their time of need, and allowing them to remain in their own homes until they are called home.
Joan has known her husband, Brendan Henchy, since her days in Kerry. They live in Yonkers, and are parishioners of St. Barnabas Church. Their daughters are Tara and Shauna.
Timothy Hodges, a life-long Yonkers resident, is one of four children of Elizabeth Reilly Hodges and John J. Hodges, Sr. His maternal roots are in County Offaly. Timothy graduated from St. Denis School and Yonkers High School. He received a Bachelor of Science from Manhattan College and Master’s from Mercy College.
Timothy recently retired from the Yonkers Police Department after 34 years service, and has held every rank and position in the Department. He retired as First Deputy Chief, where he oversaw the Patrol Services Bureau, which includes all the precincts, the Emergency Service Unit, the Traffic Division, and Pattern Crimes Task Force.
Timothy currently serves as Director of Support and Emergency Services at St. John’s Riverside Hospital.
He has continued training and education throughout his career. Timothy is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Strategic Leadership Course at Harvard University, as well as the Advanced Homeland Security Course by SSI in Israel. He is also a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum at Harvard University.
Timothy serves as an Executive Board Member of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Westchester, Vice Chairman of Gift of Life – Metro NY, and is President Elect of Yonkers Rotary Club. He is the immediate Past President of Westchester County Detectives Association, member of the NY State Chiefs of Police and the Westchester County Chiefs of Police. He is a former Vice President of Yonkers Police Captains, Lieutenants and Sergeants Association.
Timothy has been recognized by several local organizations. To name a few: Hudson River Community Association Community Service Award 2019; Dominican Cultural Association of Westchester Community Service Award 2019; Yonkers Mexican Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year 2018; Indian American Association of Westchester Man of the Year 2017.
Timothy and his wife, Patricia Hodges, have a daughter, Shannon and a new grandson, Matthew. They are parishioners of St. Joseph’s Church in Bronxville.
Sean P. Mayer
Sean Mayer was born in Yonkers to Kathy Callaghan Mayer and Arthur Mayer. His maternal grandparents were from Counties Mayo and Kerry, and his paternal grandparents were from Armagh. Sean has one brother, Brendan Mayer.
Sean graduated from Sacred Heart Grade School in Yonkers and Archbishop Stepinac High School. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from St. Bonaventure University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Lehman College.
Sean is in the 27th year of his teaching career. For the past 21 years, he has been employed by the Mount Pleasant Central School District, teaching Physical Education at Columbus Elementary School. He has been named Basketball Coach of the Year 4 times at Westlake High School, where he is the Varsity Girls Coach. At Westlake, he has also served as Varsity Golf Coach.
Sean has stayed involved in the community, serving on Boards of Directors for the North Yonkers Preservation and Development Community Center, the North Yonkers Scholarship Committee, and the Fountainhead Cooperative Development.
As a member of the AOH, Myles Scully Division 1 and the Lakers Athletic and Social Club, Sean is no stranger to the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade on McLean Avenue. He and his fellow marchers can always count on an encouraging shout-out from Sean’s mother, Kathy Mayer, who covered the Parade with Janine Rose on News 12 Westchester for many years. Kathy continues to participate in the Parade’s podcast.
Sean is married to Carrie Davidson, and they have one daughter, Mackenzie. Prior to moving to their new Parish, Holy Name of Jesus in Valhalla, Sean had been a member of the Holy Name Society at Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart in Yonkers.
Richard McSpedon, Jr.
Richard McSpedon, Jr. was born to Richard and Anne (McFayden) McSpedon in Yonkers, and raised in Hastings with his three siblings. His McSpedon ancestry is traced to a Scots-Irishman who arrived in the American colonies in the 1700’s. Other paternal roots are in County Tipperary. Richard attended Hillside Elementary School in Hastings, and graduated from Archbishop Stepinac High School. He attended Coastal Carolina College in So. Carolina, before he was sworn in as a member of Local Union No. 3, IBEW.
After working in different locations, Richard entered the Apprentice Program and graduated from Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. School of Labor Studies at Empire State College (SUNY). He went on to be a Journeyman and Sub-Foreman. In 2002, he became a Shop Steward, working with Business Representatives in the Bronx, Midtown and in Transit, including the World Trade Center Transit Hall. In 2006, he was elected to the Executive Board of Local Union No. 3 which represents 30,000 members, and by re-election served 10 years. He has been a delegate to IBEW International Conventions, where he has also served as Sergeant at Arms. In 2016, he was appointed Business Representative of Southern Westchester.
He belongs to affiliated clubs of Local Union No. 3, including: Bronx Acorn Club, Catholic Council, Colony Club and Westchester Mechanics Assoc., where he was President from 2003-2006. He is a delegate of Westchester Putnam Building & Construction Trades Council, as well as a Vice President of Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body (AFLCIO), and in 2017 became a member of Sustainable Port Chester Alliance. Both Staten Island Electrical Club, in 2015, and Allied Union Club of Queens, in 2018 have honored him as Man of the Year.
Richard served on the transition team of County Executive, George Latimer. In 2019, he was appointed to Westchester County Industrial Development Agency and Westchester County Local Development Council.
In 2021, Richard received an Irish Labor Ambassador award from the Irish Echo.
He and his wife, Maura Courtney McSpedon, live in Pleasantville with their children, Molly, Jack, Claire and Dermot. Richard is a former coach for Little League and CYO. They are parishioners of Holy Innocents Church.
William J. Saich
William J. Saich was born and raised in Westchester County, the son of Margaret Brady Saich and William Saich. His maternal roots are in County Clare and paternal roots in County Cavan. Bill has two sisters. Raised in Rye, Bill attended Resurrection Grammar School and Archbishop Stepinac High School.
Bill married Patricia O’Connor in 1966, when she was a teacher in Harrison and he was in the United States Army. For 20 months from 1966 to 1968, Bill served with “The Old Guard” ceremonial unit, based at Ft. Myer, Virginia, and serving at Arlington National Cemetery. Upon his discharge, Bill, Pat and their first child moved to Cullman, Alabama, where Bill attended and graduated from St. Bernard’s College. After that, they moved back to Westchester and earned their licenses in Nursing Home Administration from Long Island University.
Bill’s mother, a Registered Nurse, founded Ferncliff Manor in 1935. Bill and Pat have continued her legacy of providing specialized care and services to disabled children. As Executive Director for the past 50 years, Bill has brought expansion and innovation to this vision, and today Ferncliff is a leading provider of residential and special education services. Adults with developmental disabilities are also served by Ferncliff, with services that include residential alternatives. Ferncliff students and residents have marched proudly in our Parade for several years, winning the Best Marching Unit – Junior Division trophy in 2016.
Having lived and worked in Yonkers, Bill and Pat have been active members of the Yonkers Community for over 50 years. They are members of the Yonkers Kiwanis Club where Bill has held various titles, including President. In 2019, Pat and Bill were the honorees at the 90th Anniversary Dinner of Yonkers Kiwanis. Bill was also a long-time member of the Ardsley Lions Club and is a supporter of the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce, PBA, and Yonkers Scholarship Foundation, to name a few.
Bill and Pat, who now live in Somers, have four children: Kristen, Bill, Teddy and Shelly. They have nine grandchildren: Jake, Sarah, Aleksander, Max, Samantha, Lindsay, Liam, Rory, and Maggie.
Nancy Walsh was born and raised in Carmel, NY, the youngest of four children of Lorraine Massello Sullivan and the late John L. Sullivan, both Yonkers natives. Nancy traces her Irish roots to her paternal ancestors from Counties Cork and Sligo. She attended St. James Grammar School in Carmel and graduated from Carmel High School. Nancy is a graduate of the Berkeley Business School and Westchester Community College.
For the past eleven years, Nancy has been employed as Administrator at Keller Company, a geotechnical construction company.
Nancy is a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Our Lady of Knock Division 19. She is grateful for the support of her sisters of the LAOH, who continue to uphold and foster their motto of Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity. Nancy has held various positions in the organization, and currently serves as Recording Secretary. She has assisted in the many events of the LAOH, which benefit local charities and members of the community; and which promote understanding of Irish culture.
Nancy and her husband James Walsh have been married 29 years and live in Yonkers. He is a member and Past President of the AOH Myles Scully Division 1, and served as an Aide in the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2000 and in the New York City Parade in 2013.
They have three children: Shannon, who is married to James Murphy, Kerri and John. All are Hibernians like their parents. Nancy served for several years on Boards of the parent organizations at both Archbishop Stepinac High School and Our Lady of Good Counsel Academy.
Nancy and James are parishioners of Annunciation Church, where Nancy is a member of the Ladies Guild.