New Haven’s Christy’s Irish Pub slates annual fundraiser

The city’s homeless may not know Christy Mulhall, but he is one of those working behind the scenes who helps put food on the table for anyone in need of a hot meal.

Christy Mulhall, left, of Christy's Irish Pub in New Haven, and David O'Sullivan, director of the Community Soup Kitchen in New Haven, hold the Golden Ladle plaque, given to Mulhall for his fund-raising efforts for the soup kitchen over the past five years. VMWilliams/Register

Five years ago, Mulhall, who benefitted from the generosity of relatives in New Haven who sent packages back to Ireland when he was a child, started a fundraiser for the Community Soup Kitchen that is now among its important annual revenue sources.

“We’ve raised around $32,000 in the last four years,” Mulhall said at the kitchen, where he was recently given the “golden ladle” award in recognition of his efforts.

Christy’s Irish Pub at 261 Orange St. will host this year’s fundraiser on Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. They will try to match last year’s $12,000 and put them over a $40,000 total.

Soup kitchen coordinator David O’Sullivan said climbing food prices and a downturn in donations tied to the lingering recession are making it harder to make ends meet, and he depends on Mulhall and others to help them stay on track.

Last year, the soup kitchen provided 65,715 meals; this year it expects to reach 70,000.

“The suggested donation at the door is $15, but we encourage people to give what they can, more or less,” Mulhall said. “If you can’t attend, please send money. It may be the best gift you give this holiday season.”

There are two silent auctions planned, one early in the evening, and the second from 7 to 9 p.m. The top item is a week’s stay at Signature Place in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Christy’s has already raised over $5,000 with AT&T and United Illuminating each giving $1,000, Other donors include the law firm of Ciulla & Donofrio, Core Fitness and Bard Financial Services.

“I’m always amazed by the generosity of people in New Haven, especially at Christmastime,” Mulhall said.

Barry Buxbaum, president of the soup kitchen board, said it is a charity he stays involved with because of the example of his in-laws, Arnold Alderman and Lucille Alderman, who also was board president at one time.

Buxbaum said for years he and his children would accompany Arnold Alderman to the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving to help serve the meal. “He (Alderman) did it to make them understand that there are people in this world who don’t have as much as we have. That has impacted my kids for the rest of their lives,” Buxbaum said.

The board president said in recent years there has been a jump in the number of working poor who show up for the mid-day meal where they will pick up a boxed lunch to eat on the run.

“We’d like to go out of business for lack of work, but until then we will keep going,” O’Sullivan said.

Contributions may be made at any time at Christy’s or mailed to Community Soup Kitchen of New Haven, 84 Broadway, New Haven, Conn. 06511 with checks payable to Community Soup Kitchen of New Haven.

Source: Mary E. O’Leary, nhregister.com

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