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Randy McCartney likes to evoke a bit of his Irish ancestry to extend a warm invitation for the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance on Saturday, March 17 at St. George Church Hall. Proceeds benefit Connecticut Chapter of Blue Star Mothers. (Photo by Pam Johnson/Guilford Courier )
Randy McCartney helps St. George Men’s Group offer a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance to benefit a great cause. )
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With a last name that evokes a son of Ireland, it may come as no surprise that Randy McCartney is happy to help promote the St. George Men’s Group St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance, coming this Saturday, March 17 to St. George Church Hall, 33 Whitfield Street, Guilford.
But as one of the seven original founding members of the St. George Men’s Group, the true reason Randy hopes to see folks come out to enjoy this lively night lies in the good deeds that will be supported by event proceeds. Proceeds benefit the Connecticut Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America.
“They were founded during World War II and they remain a very important organization supporting mothers who have sons or daughter on active duty in the [U.S.] Armed Forces,” says Randy. “They do many things for soldiers, including volunteering at veterans’ hospitals, sending packages to soldiers, soldier send-offs, welcome home salutes, and supporting Gold Star families, to name a few. Having been in the military myself, helping these ladies is of special importance to me, personally.”
It’s the latest of many worthy causes supported by the responsive efforts of the St. George Men’s Group. Founded just five years ago, the all-volunteer group has made an impressive impact in the community and raised approximately $214,500 to benefit charitable causes, according to Randy.
“This group was founded to answer the call for social justice through good works,” says Randy, who served as its first Recording Secretary and helped author the group’s bylaws. “We have men in this group not only from St. George’s parish but from around the community, from all walks of life. As long as they agree to go by our bylaws, they’re welcome; and we have a great time just helping the community.”
The group’s meetings are “not bogged down by bureaucracy,” says Randy. “We want people to get their sleeves rolled up and help. That’s what I like about it. It’s very nimble and fast-moving, and we get things done.”
On March 17, Randy will roll up his sleeves–and be taking tickets at the door–at the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance.
“This is the first year we’ll be selling tickets at the door,” he notes.
Tickets, $30 per person, will be available when the doors open at 6 p.m., with dinner served at 7 p.m. Coming as a group? There’s still time to give dinner dance chairman Tony Sicignano a call at 203-458-0290 to reserve a table (or call for advance individual ticket purchases).
The dinner dance’s Irish-themed celebration features corned beef dinner, vegetarian Shepherd’s pie dinner, and music and dancing until 11:30 p.m. The BYOB event will include musical entertainment DJ’d by Guilford’s own John “Cadillac” Saville, who once again is volunteering his time and talent to assist this group.
“John is a great entertainer and an avid supporter of the men’s group. We’re very appreciative of all he does for us,” says Randy.
When it comes to putting on the group’s numerous events throughout the year, members not only put in the planning and man the events; they often do the cooking, too. On Feb. 17, led by the group’s honorable chef and co-founder Jim Mancini, they helped make up many dishes for the group’s second annual World’s Fare Dinner (proceeds benefited local charities). The group will also put on a Kentucky Derby Dinner Dance on Saturday, May 5. One of the events the group may be best known for is its perennially popular two-day Italian Festival, returning on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24 to 25, this year; to be followed by group’s fundraising golf tourneys in September. To learn about all events and charitable giving, visit http://stgeorgemensgroup.org
When the McCartney family moved to Guilford from North Madison in 2000, joining St. George’s parish, and later helping to form the St. George’s Men’s Group, are some of the ways Randy and his wife Dibby (a spin on the name Debby) and their two children, Brian and Leslie, became active in the Guilford community. These days, the McCartneys are also grandparents of two, Liam and Miles, the children of Leslie and her husband, Eric Roberts. The Roberts family resides in South Carolina.
“I hardly knew anyone when I came here, but being involved in school and sports activities with your children is a great way to meet people,” says Randy. “Another great way to meet people is to volunteer in your community. Join something, get involved and make a difference–volunteers help get things done that would otherwise be left undone.”
Randy got involved with Guilford’s scouting community when Brian, who is an eagle scout, started off as a tiger scout; with Randy volunteering as part of each of his son’s programs as Brian moved through the ranks. Randy is a past Scoutmaster for Guilford Boy Scouts Troop 472 (North Guilford) and still volunteers with scouting.
An Ohio native, Randy lived in the Cleveland area and relocated to several points around the country during a 25-year career in the federal government (for more than 10 years, he’s been busy with his second career with Hartford Insurance Company). Randy’s lived in communities in Missouri and New York among others and has the distinction of renovating five historic homes (and building a garage) as he moved around the country. His hobbies include woodworking and furniture restoration.
The McCartneys hand-picked and restored their current Guilford antique home near the town center. Randy credits Dibby, a Rhode Island native, with finding their current home, which Randy is pleased to note is now restored to it’s “original glory.”
“If you live in an antique house, it’s an ever-ongoing process. I’m doing something to it every month, every year–it’s non-stop. You have to enjoy it, which I do,” says Randy, who also serves as a board member of Guilford’s Historic District Commission.
A genealogy buff, Randy is also putting the finishing touches on a book he’s penned on his family’s history, based on research he’s conducted over several years to examine seven generations.
Now married 25 years, the McCartneys plan to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary with a trip to Ireland in June. But before then, they’ll experience some Irish hospitality by joining those who come out to enjoy the St. George Men’s Group St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance on March 17.
Randy also sends out a sincere “thank you” to St. George’s parishioners, Guilford community members, and sponsors who have “supported the St. George Men’s Group in its mission to help the community at large,” he says.
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