2014 Ohio Rose named in Westlake celebration

2014 Ohio Rose Grainne Mangan is joined by Westlake City Council President Michael Killeen following the announcement of her selection. She will soon travel to Ireland for The Rose of Tralee International Festival's Regional Finals.

The high point of the annual Northern Ohio Rose Selection Celebration held in Westlake on April 25 was the announcement of Miss Grainne Mangan as the 2014 Ohio Rose. The West Park resident's selection topped an evening of Irish-themed entertainment and local tradition.

When Master of Ceremonies Dan Coughlin pronounced the results of the judges’ selection, Mangan was congratulated by 2013 Ohio Rose Kelsey Higgins and fellow finalist Annemarie Cunningham, of Sheffield Village. Roses on hand to share the special moment were fellow Ohio Roses: Rose Ashley Speaker (2012), Bridget Linton (2011) and Annie Dunne (2009), as well as Kentucky Roses Claire Curran (2014) and Savannah Miller (2013.) Other former Roses present were 1981 Ohio Rose Maureen Hennessey and the 1971 International Rose of Tralee Linda (McCravy) Shubeck.

An elegant setting at LaCentre provided the backdrop for a festive event, one of dozens of local Rose selections held throughout the world leading up to Festival’s second of three selection rounds, the Regional Finals, that are scheduled for late May in Portlaoise, Ireland. The final round of selection takes place in Tralee, in August. There, 32 finalists from around the globe will seek the title of “2014 International Rose of Tralee.”  

The month of May will be especially busy for the newly named 2014 Ohio Rose. Miss Mangan, an alumna of St. Joseph Academy, is graduating from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a minor in marketing. The excitement felt upon the announcement of her selection will extend through her commencement ceremonies and as she prepares to travel to Portlaoise.  

Westlake World Partners, the non-profit formed to support educational, cultural and civic exchange between Westlake and its Sister Cities of Tralee, Ireland, and Kingsville (Ontario), Canada, hosts the Northern Ohio Rose Centre in affiliation with The Rose of Tralee International Festival. The selection event is its annual fundraiser.

A special guest attending the April 25 local Rose selection was Anne Moran, an educator from Tralee, who attended the selection event as a prelude to spending a week visiting Westlake City Schools. She was joined by Westlake educator Colleen Mudore, who visited Tralee last October, updating students via her blog. The educators exchange was made possible by the efforts of Westlake World Partners and ongoing support of event sponsors and attendees.

Funding also helped to support a February trip by 2013 Ohio Rose Kelsey Higgins who joined the Festival’s goodwill delegation to the Vesnova Children’s Mental Asylum in Belarus in cooperation with Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International, based in Ireland. 

Pat O’Brien Jr., of Pat O’Brien Chevrolet in Westlake, was this year’s recipient of the Westlake World Partners Founders award that is bestowed upon individuals based on their contributions to the Northern Ohio Rose Centre. O’Brien was recognized for his unwavering contributions to the event and community spirit. A donation on his behalf was presented to Youth Challenge, a Westlake-based organization providing recreational opportunities to developmentally and physically disabled youth.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:32 AM, 04.29.2014