A CO Donegal woman is set to follow in the footsteps of legendary crooner Bing Crosby – by being named Irish Person of the Year in Los Angeles!
Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman, originally from Carndonagh, is being heralded for her voluntary work, particularly as organiser of the annual Los Angeles Irish Film Festival.
The 137th Annual Irish Day Civic Ceremonies takes place on next Friday at L.A. City Hall.
Lisa McLaughlin will be feted at a special lunch immediately afterwards and then introduced at the Official City of L.A.St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza at LA Live on St. Patrick’s Day.
McLaughlin was selected by a committee from the Irish Fair Foundation. The foundation, which is also responsible for the California Rose of Tralee selection, each year, selects an Irish Man and Irish Woman and other honorees as part of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Los Angeles. McLaughlin is being recognized as an outstanding leader and major contributor to the arts and cultural fields and to the local American Irish community.
Over the past four years, McLaughlin has developed the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival (L.A.I.F.F) into a major Irish Cultural Event but also has introduced L.A. audiences to Irish music, art, photography, poetry and even food, with an exploration of the ‘taste of Ireland’.
In response to receiving the Irish Woman of the Year Award and to mark the fifth year of the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival, which will take place this autum, McLaughlin has arranged for a traditional Irish Currach to be built by an artisan/boatwright from Donegal.
The theme of this year’s Festival will be “Sea of Exchange,” representing the emigration of people as well as films. Currach builder, Donal Mac Polin, will make the journey from Ireland and shepherd a hand-picked team of local craftsmen through the ancient steps of construction and assembly.