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Grand Marshal Prepares To Step Off For Greenwich's St. Patrick's Parade

Cathy Lavaty and Brian O'Connor
Cathy Lavaty and Brian O'Connor Photo Credit: contributed

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Cathy Lavaty was installed as the grand marshal of the 42nd-annual Greenwich St. Patrick's Parade by the Greenwich Hibernian Association on Saturday, March 5, at the organization's annual St. Patrick's dinner dance.

The parade will be on Sunday, March 20. This year's dinner dance also acknowledged the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland. The Easter Rising led to the eventual establishment of Ireland as an independent country. Memorials to the Rising are being held across the world and will culminate on April 24, the 100th anniversary of the start of the Rising.

Lavaty was installed by last year's grand marshal, Brian O'Connor, in front of a sellout crowd of friends, relatives and members of the Greenwich Hibernians. Lavay is a lifelong resident of Greenwich. She graduated St. Mary Grammar School and St. Mary High School before attending Berkley Business School, in White Plains, New York.

After graduation, Lavaty went to work for the National Broadcasting Company in New York, where she worked for 38 years, before retiring in 2005. At NBC, she worked in the news division, first as program manager for "NBC Nightly News," then on the "Today," show and finally for "Dateline."

Lavaty is involved with her church, St. Mary of Greenwich, both as a trustee and as chair of the parish Social Concerns Committee. She is a board member of the NBC New York Employees Federal Credit Union and is also a board member of the Today Show Charitable Foundation.

She met her husband, Walter Kelly, a retired New York City Police officer, on St. Patrick's Day 1975. They were married in 1980. Last September, they made their first trip to Ireland. Lavaty's Irish roots go back to her grandparents, George and Catherine Kelly, who came from County Cork in the late 1800s. The family home was on Oakridge Street in Greenwich. George was the first custodian of Hamilton Avenue School. Their daughter, Virginia Kelly, married Charles Lavaty.

Parade information and updates will be posted on the Greenwich Hibernian's website. The parade will begin at 2 p.m.

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