The Friendly Sons and Daughters of St. Patrick of Mercer County honorees from left to Right – Patrick L. Ryan, Tracey Destribats, Maria Schultz and Dave Schultz. Photo by Michael A. Sabo
The chorus of “When Irish Eyes are Smiling goes a little something like this:
When Irish Eyes are Smiling sure it’s like a morn in spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing
when Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay
but when Irish eyes are smiling sure they’ll steal your heart away
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day in Hamilton Township, all eyes, no matter the the color, faith or ethnicity, where smiling as the Friendly Sons and Daughters of St. Patrick in Mercer County held their 32nd Annual Dinner Dance and paid tribute to 2 individuals (1 male and 1 female) who have lived both their professional and personal lives every day to making a difference and contributing to their community by helping others as well as a local charity with a mission to help find a cure and save hundreds of thousands of boys affected each year by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, including the founders own son – Ryan Schultz!
Patrick L. Ryan the CEO of First Bank was honored as the 2018 Irish-American Son of the Year.
Introduced by his son Liam and daughter Lily, they passionately described their Dad as a man who always puts his family first, no matter his professional obligations and his tireless work ethic. Ryan serves on multiple community associations and Non-Profit boards in the community as well as leading one of the areas most successful community banks.
Tracey Destribats was awarded the 2018 Irish-American Daughter Award.
Destribats is the Director of Development for the Trenton Catholic Academy, philanthropist, volunteer, and owner of legendary Hamilton bakery Eet Gud
Bakery. Tracey, like her co-honoree, serves on multiple Non Profit boards and along with family and friends have single-handedly raised tens of thousands of dollars for breast cancer research as well as organized a massive adopt a family effort for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen for Christmas Holiday Season.
Ryan’s Quest, a local Hamilton based Non-Profit was awarded the Community Service Award for their continued efforts and mission to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and work to fund research to find a cure to the currently incurable and fatal rare genetic disease and form of Muscular Dystrophy. It primarily affects males, but, in rare cases, can also affect females. Duchenne causes the muscles in the body to become weak and damaged over time and is eventually fatal.
Founded by Dave and Maria Schultz when their son Ryan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, they have provided funds that contribute 100% of proceeds for programs, grants, and projects that support its mission to provide and appropriate funds that benefit the community for which it serves. Funds are not to be used for institutional, administrative, overhead, or indirect costs, only direct patient care or research.
The Friendly Sons and Daughters of St. Patrick also gave out it’s First Annual “Rafferty” Scholarship to Nottingham Senior Zainab Farooq. The scholarship is awarded to a Hamilton Township High School Senior, that will be
attending college who has demonstrated academic excellence, character and Community Service. The Scholarship is in the name of former Hamilton Mayor John K. (Jack) Rafferty. Rafferty served as mayor for 24 years in Hamilton Township and has been an active supporter of the Irish community his entire life.