The Wilkes-Barre Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick gathered at the Ramada Inn in downtown Wilkes-Barre for their 68th Annual Saint Patrick's Day Dinner. Monsignor Joseph Kelly was honored as Man of the Year, while the crowd of nearly 500 heard the keynote speech of former Cincinnati Bengal and Coughlin High School football star Bruce Kozerski.
Monsignor Kelly was honored for his years of selfless public service to the community, most recently with Catholic Social Services. Kelly was humble and humorous in his acceptance of the group's annual award.
Kozerski spoke of his football career, but also explained to the crowd that despite his great successes, he has also seen tragedies that greatly shaped his life.
This year also marked the first year that a woman attended the traditionally male only dinner. An event which caused a number of attendees vowing to bring female guests next year. (And for those in attendance, we do not refer to Toastmaster Kevin Boylan's joke about Manti Te'o's imaginary girlfriend. Yes there was a woman in attendance.)
The Examiner conducted an exclusive back stage interview with Kelly as he was about to be introduced.
The Examiner also interviewed Kozerski as he awaiting his introduction to the gathering.