As the rain comes down upon my windows, I am so glad I spent part of my morning in a park, underneath the beautiful, warm sun. Today, Suas was holding a little photo shoot for their upcoming fundraiser, Shamrocks for Schools, with the 2010 Rose of Tralee, Clare Kambamettu. I had originally volunteered to wear the shamrock suit for the photos, and was in fact pretty pumped about it, but my colleagues felt that the gender balance required a male in the shot. Hrrrmph.
Let me back up, though, because you are probably wondering what exactly are Shamrocks for Schools and the Rose of Tralee. Shamrocks for Schools is a fundraiser Suas organizes on St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Cork, and Galway. During the parades and festivities, and while thousands of people are on the streets, hundreds of volunteers gather up Suas buckets and face paint to dole out shamrocks on the faces of spectators for donations in return. These donations go to aid our Partner Schools in Ireland and overseas.
The Rose of Tralee is a pageant of sorts, much like Miss America, minus the scantily clad bathing suits and scandal. To compete, you must be of Irish origin, whether your were born in Ireland or have an ancestor from Ireland. Women from the United States, Canada, Britain, Dubai, Australia, New Zealand, and counties in Ireland compete for the title. Apparently, the Rose of Tralee is rather popular in Texas, which always sends a girl for the competition. When my co-workers started mentioning the “Rose of Tralee,” I finally asked what the heck they were talking about. I never knew this was such a popular competition not only in Ireland, but in the States and elsewhere.
Today, Suas did their photo shoot with the 2010 Rose in the Merrion Square park right by the office. Not only was Clare beautiful, but incredibly sweet and funny. My co-worker did an alright job in the shamrock suit, though I think it would have been much more up my alley. The day was gorgeous, everything was so green, and the cherry blossoms were bright and colorful on the trees. It was a moment where I really felt like I was in Ireland. My colleagues told me that during the summer, everyone in the office will pack their lunch and go to the park together. I love it! And though I didn’t get to don the infamous shamrock suit, it was nice to get some fresh air, learn something new about my home, and watch someone else dance around like a green character!