Ellicottville Brewing Company was magic this past Friday night as Bob’s presence was obvious to all that attended Bob McCarthy’s 12th annual Irish Christmas. The evening started off with Dan Minner, EBC’s Head Brew master, donating $1,141 (The proceeds from their sales of Bob McCarthy’s Celtic Red -$1 from each pint sold around St. Patrick ’s Day).  Then MC Phil Bund took over for what proved to be another successful Pie Auction.  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, setting a new record.

Beth, Laura, JP and the entire EBC staff provided a dose of Ellicottville hospitality beyond compare.  Although the crowd was a little smaller than last year, with the new layout, clear sound (thanks Devin) and room to move made the night go very well.  A special thanks to Dina’s, EBC, 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 also mixed some special Irish Cocktails to get the bidders in the mood.  Special thanks to The Gin Mill, which painted and decorated Bob’s wagon and made a generous donation to the event. Thanks to the bakers (too many to thank) whose special desserts were done by Bob’s friends as a tribute to him and this tradition.  Rotary thanks their friends who helped make this such a great success – Ed & Deb Frederickson, Phil Bund, Katy and Victor Arena, Tom and Helen Bradish, Kegs Keighley, Tom Kneeland, Sally and Mike Nickolson, John and Anne Northup, Anne Marie Ranger, Judy Brown, Dave Salvucci, Jay Stoddard, Chet Zuchelli and so many others.   

When asked how did this start, McCarthy would answer, “It started with a little magic.” Ellicottville’s residents, both permanent and part timers, attended and bid for the great auction items, which even included a McCarthy original. Ed Frederickson knocked it out of the park again with his unique creations. His wooden chest was the highest bid item at $1,600 (BTW Mike Young bought it and donated it to someone in the crowd), while Ed’s unique birdhouse won by Sean and Erin Cornelius for $550.

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.  You know Bob would have been in awe by the donations and creations made by so many generous donors.

This year you all helped 29 families and a total of 122 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. Thank you Ellicottville!