Knowing how much he loved New Buffalo and its residents, Mary Donnelly said her husband, Dan Donnelly, would’ve been pleased seeing the turnout of community members at a special cocktail party held in his honor at Jackie’s Café in New Buffalo Saturday, July 17.
“Dan would’ve been really happy,” said Mary, adding that she herself was also “really grateful for this community.”
Hosted by the Harbor Country Public Arts Initiative (HCPAI), the fundraiser was held to raise money for a memorial sculpture on New Buffalo’s lakefront for Dan, who passed away April 9, 2015, after a battle with cancer.
Arnie Feinberg, president of HCPAI, said he witnessed Dan’s great commitment to New Buffalo while working with him on the brand-new New Buffalo Township Library, which was constructed in 2014. According to Feinberg, Dan was the “inspiration” behind the new library. Dan served as the board president of the Library. In addition to his efforts with the library, Feinberg added that Dan also contributed to the community in several other ways, such as coaching baseball for area youth.
“He was really a jewel in our community,” said Feinberg.
Despite his accomplishments, Feinberg said that Dan was very humble, something that he found very “unique” about him.
“He never tried to get the limelight – he would rather be in the background,” said Feinberg.
Hopefully, Feinberg said the sculpture will keep Dan’s energy and giving spirit alive within the community.
“It’s so we can do something in support of his memory,” he said.