Dutchess County St Patricks Parade 2017
Written on February 4, 2016
Saturday March 4th, 2017
The 2017 Grand Marshal is:
Eileen McDonald Sassmann
Eileen is fourth generation of the Gilmore “Clan” in the Village. Her Great-grandfather, grandmother and several aunts and uncles worked in the Bleachery until its close. Eileen is the oldest of the eight children of Eileen nee Mckay and Joseph McDonald.
Eileen is a Charter member of the Ladies AOH and chair of the Missions and Charity Committee.
Eileen graduated from St. Mary’s Elementary School in Wappingers Falls in June of 1958; Mount St. Mary Academy in Newburgh in June of 1962 and Mount St. Mary College with a B.S. in Mathematics on June 1, 1966.
The High School years were made more interesting by the fact that the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge was not there so car, bus and ferry were part of her daily commute. Eileen is in the process of funding the McDonald Family Scholarship at Mount Saint Mary College and is the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.
From June 6, 1966 until December 1998 Eileen had a career in IBM Systems Programming. In 1980 until 1999 Eileen served as an IBM representative to the GUIDE (Guidance of Users of Integrated Data Processing Equipment) group for users of IBM computer systems. At the end of her IBM career she had attained the rank of Senior Technical Staff Member the second highest technical rank at that time.
Eileen was a mentor to many “kids” who called her “MVS Mom”. In retirement Eileen became involved in many volunteer activities:
Chair of the village of Wappinger Falls’ Comprehensive Plan Committee and chair and vice-chair of the Wappinger Creek Watershed Inter-municipal Council (WIC). Secretary of the Wappinger Greenway Trail Committee; Past President and Recording Secretary for the Mount Saint Mary Academy/High School Alumni Association; Grinnell Library Trustee in Wappingers Falls since 2008 and Secretary of the Special District Library board. Since 2007 Eileen serves as the part time Administrative Assistant to the Wappingers Falls Business and Professional Association; From 2005 until 2007 Eileen was co-owner of Leverage, Inc. a grant business which counted the Village of Wappingers Falls as one of its clients.
Since its inauguration, Eileen has been a supporter of the Dutchess County St. Patrick’s parade including the creation and funding in the initial years of the House and Business Decoration contests and the host of the Clinton Street “reviewing stand”
Dutchess County St Patricks Parade 2017. For the past twenty years the Dutchess County St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Inc. has been hosting a yearly St. Patrick’s Parade for Dutchess County on the first Saturday in March. Over the years the parade has grown to include over 3000 participants and delighted over 10,000 spectators as it winds its way through the Village of Wappingers Falls. The Committee is proud of the growth this event has shown over the years and is committed to continue to promote the expansion of the parade.
Each year the Committee selects an outstanding community person to lead the parade who is the Grand Marshal. The Grand Marshal is a person who takes pride in their Irish Heritage and promotes its unique culture. They are strong leaders in their community and are actively involved in improving the quality of life for all.This year’s Grand Marshal embodies all of this spirit.
Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians.
According to different versions of his life story it is said that he was born in Britain, around 385AD. His parents Calpurnius and Conchessa were Roman citizens living in either Scotland or Wales. As a boy of 14 he was captured and taken to Ireland where he spent six years in slavery herding sheep. He returned to Ireland in his 30s as a missionary among the Celtic pagans.
Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”
Many folk ask the question ‘Why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland ?’ The reason is that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.
In the custom known as “drowning the shamrock”, the shamrock that has been worn on a lapel or hat is put in the last drink of the evening.