The Eagles are squaring off against the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London this Sunday. Here’s hoping the Birds warm to the challenge.
If you’re planning on watching the game in Delaware County when it airs at 9:30 a.m., you can catch the game, snag a great breakfast, and help keep some of the county’s neediest stay warm this winter in the process.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians Dennis Kelly Division No. 1 of Havertown is hosting a benefit for their home heating program at Hanrahan’s Irish Pub, 690 Burmont Road in Drexel Hill. Doors open at 8 a.m. There’s no charge to get into the pub, but there is a great breakfast buffet to be had for just $12, which includes your first Mimosa or Bloody Mary. The division gets a cut, which will be devoted to the home heating program, according to organizer and division board member Jim McCusker. Tickets for the buffet can be bought at the door.
Drinks will also be available at the bar, he says, including $2 Miller Lite specials, with vodka and orange juice also on special. Another eye-opener: coffee stout.
Kids are also welcome. The charge for their breakfast is $5. Juice and soft drinks are included.
Come hungry and come early if you want a seat for the game, McCusker advises.
McCusker hatched the idea for the fund-raiser.
“I was trying to get something organized for us, just as a get-together for our AOH brothers, he says. “But then I said: You know what? We’re constantly trying to figure out new ways to raise money to back our volunteer efforts. Let’s make it a fund-raiser. So, then I talked to Jimmy Clark at Hanrahan’s, and I said, as long as you’re going to charge for breakfast, why not charge a couple extra bucks and give it to us, so we can help out more families with heating in the wintertime. He loved the idea, so I just started running with it.”
There’s more to the event than just breakfast, too, he says. “We’re going to have a bunch of nice giveaways, including an autographed Carson Wentz football and some other Eagles stuff, and a couple of Irish walking sticks to raffle off. There will be a 50-50 and other fun stuff on that day.”
The home heating program started about 10 years ago, says Harry Quinn, division treasurer. Since then, the division has been able to help three to five families a year, he says.
Paying an electric bill or springing for 100 gallons of home heating oil for three to five families might not seem like a lot, he says, but for those families it makes a huge difference.
“I remember when we started this program, I talked to a friend of mine who owned an oil business,” he says. “We were able to afford 100 gallons of oil then, enough for about three weeks. I felt bad that that was all we could give people. But he said to me, if you’re cold, it’s going to give those people about three weeks of heat. Three weeks is better than zero. That made me feel good. It does make a big difference to the people who are benefiting from it.”
Last year, for example, the division was able to help a family whose principal breadwinner had just been laid off. In another instance, it helped an elderly couple who had run out of oil.
The division raises its money by selling tickets to division members, who in turn also sell them to friends and family. The tickets are tied to a January evening daily lottery number. “We get 1,000 tickets from 000 to 999 and sell them for one for five dollars, and five for 20.”
The Eagles game fund-raiser should help, he adds.
Aside from the pleasure of spending Sunday morning watching the Eagles win across the ocean—of course they will—McCusker agrees that everybody gets an opportunity to know that their dollars will go to a good cause.
“Anything we can do to help people in need,” McCusker says, “is definitely a feel-good.”
If you’re looking for other places to watch the game, of course there are bars and pubs all over the Delaware Valley that will fling their doors wide open early—far too places many to mention without running the risk of leaving some, if not many, of them out.
However, there are two other local events in particular that bear mentioning.
Commodore John Barry Arts and Cultural Center (a/k/a The Irish Center)
6815 Emlen St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19119
It’s kegs and eggs—and trust me, the food is likely to be delish. It always is. $25 covers the breakfast buffet and domestic bottles. Doors open at 9 a.m. The event runs through the end of the game.
Second Street Irish Society
1937 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Brunch buffet and block party. Doors open 8 a.m. Brunch $25. Brunch and block $50. Block $25. Brunch by “Mike the Cook.” Brunch includes mimosas, men-mosas (vodka and beer instead of the bubbly), Bloody Marys, coffee, tea, orange juice and draft beer, along with a veritable smorgasbord, including eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, Danish, roast beef, sausage and peppers, pasta and more.