PHOENIX, Oct. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Shamrock Foods Company's chairman and founding family member Norman McClelland is receiving the prestigious 2016 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. McClelland is being honored in the Charitable Works category for his long record of philanthropy and ongoing support of Irish cultural heritage in Arizona.
The President of Ireland presents the Award annually to Irish citizens, those eligible for Irish citizenship, or individuals from an Irish background in six categories. Norman McClelland is the son of Irish immigrant W.T. McClelland who founded Shamrock Dairy in Tucson, Ariz., in 1922.
"In addition to running the family business, Norman has dedicated his professional and personal life to actively supporting many philanthropic ventures and organizations throughout Arizona, including the Irish Cultural Center. This is a testament to Norman's steadfast leadership and genuine dedication to serving his community whilst paying homage to his Ulster roots," said U.S. Senator John McCain.
McClelland's personal charitable works here in Arizona include countless nonprofits, medical organizations and schools, including St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix Mountain Preserve, University of Arizona and Interfaith Ministries, among others.
These efforts are amplified through Shamrock Foods Company's long tradition of giving back to the community to support more than 80 nonprofit organizations. For example, Shamrock donates more than 300,000 pounds of food annually to local food banks like St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance and dedicates several hundred volunteer hours annually through its associate programs. The company's charitable giving aligns closely with the McClelland family's Emerald Foundation, with a strong focus on families, education, military, healthcare and hunger.
"This award acknowledges a lifetime of activities. But there is an additional, more personal dimension which is more relevant. Norman does not support worthy causes because he is asked to: He does so because he cares deeply," said former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.
McClelland celebrates his Irish roots and fosters the Irish community through his work with the Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix. Two of the center's integral resources include the McClelland Library and Frances McClelland Genealogical Center, named in honor of Norman and his late sister's contributions.
The Irish Cultural Center celebrates Irish heritage, providing a link between the people of Arizona and the people of Ireland and other Celtic cultures. Throughout the year, several events take place such as Irish dance and music performances, lecture series on various topics and more. The next big event and the center's main fundraiser, is the Annual Anam Cara Gala on Oct. 15, featuring the world-famous Irish tenor Anthony Kearns. Tickets are still available for purchase at azirish.org.
McClelland will travel to Ireland to receive the prestigious award in person on Dec. 8, 2016.
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SOURCE Shamrock Foods Company