The success of the Irish Festival last month has enabled the Cape Coral Irish American Club to expand its list of local charities to receive a donation this year.
Thirteen area organizations were scheduled to receive a check Thursday night at the club's monthly meeting in Cape Coral.
The club also provided four students with $500 scholarships at their January meeting, fulfilling an annual commitment to the Mahigan Memorial Scholarship Fund. Sixth grader Meagan Urbanek, eighth grader Shelby Seymour, 12th grader Margaret Lavoie and college student Sarah O'Sullivan were this year's recipients.
"They all have to show that they promote the Irish culture, and they are all dancers this year," said club spokesperson Mary O'Neill. "That's the basis for our club, to promote Irish culture and give back to the community."
The club was formed in April 2003 with 30 members. It has grown to represent more than 170 families and this year's 10th annual Irish Festival was held at the German American Social Club grounds.
"We raised a lot more money at the festival this year," said ONeill.
Set to receive donation checks Thursday were the ALS Association; Bishop Verot High School; Boy Scout Troop #34; Candlelighters of Southwest Florida; Cape Coral Historical Society; Cape Coral Caring Center; Hope Hospice; Knights of Columbus; Operation OpenArms; Organ Transplant Recipients of Southwest Florida; Cape Coral Sea Scouts; Guardian Angels of Special Populations; and Southwest Invest in America's Veterans Foundation.
"That is the longest list of charities we've ever had," said O'Neill.
The club raises money throughout the year and organizes group outings for members to enjoy and hold parties for special holidays like Valentine's, Halloween and Christmas.