DUBLIN-ON-FRENCH-CREEK — Under normal circumstances, the first update on the annual race to wear the coveted Grand Leprechaun hat in the annual Jack Curtin St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration wouldn’t hit the streets until Monday.
However, dear readers, these are not ordinary times.
Within mere days of the announcement naming the slate of candidates whose names appear on green-on-white ballots available in select locations around town, marketing buzzsaws are already hard at work, leading attacks indicating that the late literary lion Samuel Johnson, 1709-1894, may well have been on to something with his observation that “the Irish are a fair people; they never speak well of one another.”
(OK. So Johnson was English, making for a prickly relationship at best. It may pinch, but the shoe still fits, although we are willing to concede that except for revealing that he has indeed kissed the Blarney Stone, the only 100-percent Irish candidate in the race, Jack Lynch by name, has devoted the first three days of the race to remaining loftily above the fray.)
Jamie Longo, campaigning to wear the coveted hat while garnering big bucks for Seton Catholic School’s technology fund, is letting no grass — or shamrocks either, for that matter — grow beneath her feet.
As one of four candidates with ties to Seton, she’s the only one who both works there and has two daughters in attendance. A Hartstown native and graduate of Conneaut Lake High School who has lived in Meadville for the past 18 years, Longo is also the only one who has — so far — organized an actual event to mobilize alumni support.
Here it is: Seton Catholic Alumni Night will be March 7 at 6 p.m. in the school gym.
The evening will feature an Alumni Basketball Game — with roles for everyone. “Come and play or be a spectator, cheer on your favorite team and visit with old teachers, coaches and friends,” Longo said, noting that admission is $2; there will be a 50/50 drawing; alumni game T-shirts will be on sale and the concession stand will be open. And proceeds will go to the Grand Leprechaun Contest, before being kicked back to benefit Seton’s Technology Fund.