A Magic Evening: ‘Bob McCarthy’s’ Irish Christmas

By Greg Capelli

Ellicottville Brewing Company was magical this past Friday night, as Bob’s presence was obvious to all that attended  Bob McCarthy’s 11th annual Irish Christmas.   

New MC and auctioneer, Phil Bund, said with a grin that, “he had big shoes to fill,” but fill them he did for what proved to be the most successful auction ever.    

Deb Burkhard commented that the generosity that this village shows is a constant surprise. Bob’s friends were there from all over western NY, Ohio, PA and Southern Ontario and opened up their hearts and wallets to support Rotary’s Family Support and Santa’s workshop.  The event brought in over $14,000, with more donations arriving daily, driving it to over 40 percent larger than any previous year.

Mike Rogers and the EBC staff provided a dose of Ellicottville hospitality beyond compare, and the new layout accommodated a bigger crowd with room to move.  A special thanks to Dina’s, Katy’s, Madigans, The Silver Fox and Villaggio, who each donated a special dish, providing a low cost “Taste of Ireland” for the crowd to enjoy.

EBC mixed some special Irish Cocktails to get the bidders in the mood.  The special pies for sale in the Pie Store and the auction were baked by many of Bob’s friends (too many to thank), as a tribute to him and this tradition.  Rotary thanks their friends who helped make this such a great success:  Katy and Victor Arena, Dawn Anderson, Wade Barrett, Tom and Helen Bradish, Joanny Bund, Gerry Dixon, Kegs Keighley, Tom Kneeland, Sally and Mike Nickolson, John and Anne Northup, Anne Marie Ranger, Dave Salvucci, Jay Stoddard, Chet Zuchelli and so many others.   

When asked where did this all start, McCarthy would answer, “It started with a little magic.”  The magic continued, as those in attendance bid for great auction items, which included some McCarthy originals.  Some items were made by Bob for this event, and others were donated by his friends so others could share his unique creations.   

Peter Kreinheder added a special touch by donating a Bob birdhouse and two canvas creations from EBC’s McCarthy beer label.

You know Bob would have been in awe by the great pie boxes and wooden chest created by artisan Ed Frederickson, the rustic table by Hughie Dunn or the birdhouses by Art Chubb, which made the auction extra special.

The real thanks goes to those who attended, those who bid as their form of donation, and those who dropped off gifts for Santa’s Workshop to make Christmas a little special for less fortunate families.  This year you all helped 23 families and 105 people have a great holiday season —and that is the real magic.

Bob- we all miss you, but we will continue your tradition of giving because you were the best at it.  Thank you Ellicottville.