Sober St. Patrick’s Day® was created by award-winning theater and television producer, William Spencer Reilly, who almost lost a member of his family to addiction in 2004. He first proposed the idea to leaders in the recovery and Irish American communities, a pitch that led, a year later, to the 2012 inaugural party. Now an annual event, Sober St. Patrick’s Day® is held on parade day in New York City. It continues to grow throughout the world. 

Special thanks to Noel Kilkenny, Former Consul General of Ireland; Todd Whitmer, VP of Caron Treatment Centers (New York); Robert Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer, Friends of Recovery-New York: Sis Wenger, President of NACoA (National Association for Children of Alcoholics); John T. Evans, Esq. of the William C. Dowling Jr. Foundation; Former Deputy Consul General of Ireland, Peter Ryan; Media Executive, Maura Kelly, and Ruth Riddick.

Please visit our Sponsors page for a complete listing of all participating organizations and individuals.


Loretta King
Patricia O'Gorman
2016 SSPD Emerald Spirit Award Winner
Sis Wenger
President/CEO NACoA
Sis Wenger
JOSH SAPAN, President & CEO, AMC Networks
ROBERT LINDSEY, CEO, Friends of Recovery-New York
PAT TAYLOR, Former Executive Director, Faces & Voices of Recovery
TOM DOOLAN, Irish music specialist
BOB DONNELLY, NY music attorney
JERRY MOE, VP, Children's Program, Betty Ford Center
MICHAEL GIBBONS, Grand Marshall, NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2009
STANLEY GOLDSTEIN, Chairman, The American Friends of James Joyce
JAMES RICE, Chairman Emeritus, The Tara Circle
FIONNULA FLANAGAN, award-winning actress
DR. GARRET O’CONNOR, addiction psychiatrist - RIP
MALACHY McCOURT, writer and actor
WILLIAM COPE MOYERS, author and recovery specialist
JOHN V. CONNORTON, Jr., Irish American attorney
William Spencer Reilly
Executive Director, Sheen Center with the 2016 NYC Parade Grand Marshal George Mitchell
Loretta King - Website Development & Marketing Consultant
​An award winning sales and marketing executive, Loretta is the owner of LiKing Marketing, a firm which helps organizations create and implement effective online marketing strategies using such tools as websites and social media. An avid set dancer, Loretta is immersed in the Irish culture of music and dance. She is Past President of the Kerrymen P&B Association of NY, a social and charitable organization located in Yonkers, NY and an award winning Irish step and set dancer.

Betty Carroll - Volunteer Coordinator
​Betty is happy to join the SSPD team and bring her organizational, computer and people skills to this important and fun event.

Anita Ross  - NYC Party Producer
Anita is very happy to be joining forces with the SSPD team for this incredible event for the third time.The other event that she has been part of for the past thirty years is The American Run for the End of AIDS (A.R.E.A.) which promotes AIDS prevention through education and activism. Anita is a Theatrical Production Stage Manager. She has worked on Broadway, Off Broadway and around the country. She is a proud second generation stage manager and a proud second generation Actors' Equity member.
Kerry Keys  - NYC Party Associate Producer & Administrative Aide for Sober St. Patrick's Day®  
Kerry Keys is a graduate of Ohio State University with a Bachelors in Business Administration. She had the pleasure of contributing to Cleveland's Sober St. Patrick's Day 2015, and is excited to be a part of the original Sober St. Patrick's Day - New York City team. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree at New York University, and works at Fordham University in their Office for Student Involvement
John Whelan  - NYC Party Artistic Director for Sober St. Patrick's Day ®
An 8 time All-Ireland Champion on the button accordion, John also has an extensive recording career with his compositions used in TV productions such as "Sex In The City", "History’s Detectives" to name a few. He has performed in movies such as "Ride with The Devil", "God’s and Generals" and on "The Conan O’Brien Show". John also successfully produced for such groups as Gaelic Storm (famous for "Titanic") and Blackthorn


"To reclaim the true spirit of the day and to change the perception and experience of what St. Patrick's Day can be by providing family-friendly, alcohol free events that celebrate the depth of Irish culture, as well as year-round educational and cultural activities."
John Coppola
​Executive Director
New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, Inc. (ASAP)