Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013
By Ben Beagle Special to The Daily News
BATAVIA — The Irish theme that opens this year’s “A Tale for Three Counties” book selection has also inspired a fundraising event for the community reading project.
O’Lacy’s Irish pub, 5 School St., will host a gathering Feb. 24 featuring Irish music anda menu of Irish hors d’oeuvres intended to provide a “taste” of Ireland. The event is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m.
“It is the coziest place in town on a winter afternoon,” said Stacey Anderson, director of Corfu Free Library who is helping to organize the event for Tale.
The Tale project is a collaboration among 19 public libraries in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties and Genesee Community College that encourages people to read the same book, discuss it and then attend a series of talks and booksignings with the author.
This year’s title, “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You” by Peter Troy, begins with Ethan McOwen’s journey from Ireland to America during the Irish potato famine. Even in America, Ethan’s Irish culture is a prominent part of the story.
For the O’Lacy’s event, the menu will feature bite-sized samples of lamb with mint jelly, black and white sausage (also known as blood sausage, a dark sausage containing pork and dried pig’s blood), bangers (a kind of sausage), roasted tomato wedges, rarebit (toast with seasoning and Irish cheese melted over the toast) and marinated mushrooms. There will also be a station with potato and leek soup, brown bread (a dark brown steamed bread made with whole wheat flour), scones and soda bread, and Barry’s Tea (a more than 110-year-old Irish tea brand known for its strong flavor). A special drink offering at the bar will be traditional Irish coffee.
“We’re using some things people don’t normally get when they go to a restaurant,” said Kent Ewell, owner of O’Lacy’s, who took some inspiration of his own from a recent trip to Ireland. “It should be a nice, relaxing event.”
No Blarney, the musical duo of Rich Conroy and Don Bouchard, will play traditional Irish music. There will also be raffles of the Tale book and T-shirts.
“We expect people to come and go throughout the afternoon,” said Leslie DeLooze, the librarian at Richmond Memorial Library who started the Tale project 11 years ago.
A limited number of tickets are available, so advance purchase is recommended.
Tickets, which cost $15, are available in advance at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia; Corfu Free Library, Corfu; Alfred C. O’Connell Library at Genesee Community College, 1 College Rd., Batavia; and Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, 620 West Ave., Medina. Arrangements for tickets may also be made by contacting DeLooze at Richmond Memorial Library by calling (585) 343-9550, Ext. 8. If available, tickets at the door will be $20.
Tale, which has a budget of about $14,000, is funded largely through grants, donations and library book sales. When members of the Tale for Three Counties Council Inc., the non-profit that organizes the reading project, were talking about new ideas for fundraisers Anderson suggested a fundraiser with O’Lacy’s. Her idea was to have an event at O’Lacy’s to go along with the Irish immigration theme in this year’s book.
“I had dealt with O’Lacy’s before through Leadership Genesee. We have held a few of our events there and they have always been successful,” Anderson said.
O’Lacy’s owners Kent and Nancy Ewell came up with some of the event’s specifics, such as the idea of doing it on a Sunday afternoon, side raffles and the menu.
“They have been very receptive to involvement with Tale this year,” Anderson said, “and have really gone the extra mile in planning a menu and great event.”
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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation