Kathleen Adams, who took on a leadership level in attempting to keep the club open since its closure was announced in April, estimated that between the two events, the previous membership of 300 had at least doubled. Indeed, the last event brought in 208 new members and this event, according to a tweet from District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley, saw new member totals of nearly 150.
Those numbers served as cause for optimism for Adams, who said when asked point blank that she believed the club would remain open.
"The money is coming in," she said.
Adams wasn't the only one close to the fundraising to express that belief.
"It's looking good," said Richard Archer, the Treasurer of Save the Irish Social Club of Boston and the President of another Irish club (The Knights and Ladies of St. Finbarr – Cork).
Archer spent the evening selling $100 raffle tickets, which he said were going fast. The raffle figures to be a major part of the club’s fundraising efforts going forward: 300 tickets will be sold, with prizes of $6,000, $1,000, and $500, meaning the raffle will bring in $22,500 for the club. Winners will be drawn at the club’s major fundraising event, set to take place on September 24.
Adams speculated that those signing up at the second event had likely not been able to attend the first. What was special, she said, was to see those who had signed up at the first drive come by to help out at the second.
Stephen Shepard, a West Roxbury resident and Irish musician, was one such member, who came by to help sponsor new members.
“I’m just helping out,” he said.
Shepard said he was moved to see the outpouring of support for the club, especially given that its closure has not received heavy media attention.
“It’s really at the grass roots level,” he said. “…To see the crowd that comes in here, it really is heartwarming.”
Chris Carroll, a participant in the annual Mayor of Roslindale contest, signed up for membership on Sunday night. His reasons were primarily driven by a desire to help out the community.
“We’re coming together to help an organization that’s a little down on its luck and keep the tradition alive,” said Carroll.
With his new application for membership in hand, Carroll said he would “definitely” come out for the club’s events in the future.
Adams, who said at the drive that she was considering running for a spot on the club’s board in the fall, detailed some of the club’s other effort as the September 24 fundraiser nears. Another raffle will come with a grand prize of a trip to Ireland, including lodging provided by Richard Gormley of Gormley Funeral Home. Also, funds raised by an Irish event in Dorchester next Sunday and hosted by current Board member Patrick Walsh will go directly to the fund to save the club.
Adams also said that she hoped renovations and repairs could be started soon, while the club was closed. The club’s need for roof and fire system repairs led to its closure in the first place.