A beef-and-beer fundraiser benefit for the recently formed Officer Thomas McMeekin Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund will take place June 14 at Vagabond Kitchen and Tap Room in Atlantic City, hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Atlantic County Division One, Officer Thomas McMeekin Jr. Memorial Division.
AOH Atlantic County Division One was formed last year and is the only AOH division in Atlantic County, said President James House, of Egg Harbor Township.
Prior to founding AOH Atlantic County Division One, House belonged to AOH Cape May County Division Two.
"I didn't understand why there wasn't an AOH division in Atlantic County," he said.
After some research, House learned there actually had been an AOH Atlantic County Division One, but its charter ended about 60 years ago. The new AOH Atlantic County Division One was formed last year and is now up to 60 members.
"It's one of the fastest-growing divisions in the state," he said.
House said the Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic Irish-American fraternal organization, one of the largest and oldest Irish-Catholic organizations in the world, established in 1836, and its main mission is charity.
"What we do personally as a division is we put our time and the funds we raise back into the area," he said. "We donate to St. Nicholas (of Tolentine Parish in Atlantic City's) food bank. We support community members in need."
The Officer Thomas McMeekin Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund is one of AOH Atlantic County Division One's missions.
The AOH Atlantic County Division One honors the memory of McMeekin, an Atlantic City Police Department officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2005, when he was hit by a vehicle as he directed traffic at the scene of an accident.
"He was a local Irish Catholic man that we work to memorialize," House said.
The Officer Thomas McMeekin Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to benefit graduating high school seniors in the area. The June 14 fundraiser will be its first.
Jerard Ingenito, a member of AOH Atlantic County Division One and event co-organizer, attended high school with McMeekin. He said the scholarship awards will be given out to local students once the fund has raised a substantial amount of money, which he estimates to be at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
"We're still working on the actual criteria and the amount for the scholarships, but the goal of it is to help local high school students who are looking to go to college," Ingenito said.
The beef-and-beer fundraiser is open to the public. Tickets cost $25 per person, and include a buffet, draft beer donated by the Yards Brewing Co., live music both inside and outside, 50/50 raffles and giveaways.
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If you go
Thomas McMeekin Scholarship Benefit Fundraiser
7-11 p.m. June 14
Vagabond Kitchen and Taphouse, 672 North Trenton Ave., Atlantic City
Tickets are $25 and includes buffet, draft beer donated by Yards Brewing Co. and live music inside and outside. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event at the venue or by emailing Jerard Ingenito at firstname.lastname@example.org.