The New World Celts of Brandon is a family-oriented, nonprofit organization that promotes the Celtic culture in the New World. The organization exists to promote the heritage of the seven ancient Celtic nations, which are Ireland, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Brittany, Scotland, Wales and Galicia.
“The New World Celts was started in Dunedin, Florida in 2000 and has chapters in Florida, New York, Japan, Hawaii, Canada, Australia, New England and many other areas of the New World,” said member Carroll Vaughan.
“We raise funds to support scholarships for Highland Games athletes, Celtic dancers, musicians and artists so that they can compete and attend educational opportunities.”
The mission of the organization is to promote awareness of the outstanding contributions and history of the Celtic peoples in the formation and continuance of the New World, in addition to providing a forum for the exchange and promotion of Celtic cultural information between the Celtic associations of the New World.
“I started with the organization three years ago after I became interested in my family’s genealogy,” Vaughan said. “A good friend of mine introduced me to the New World Celts and from then on my family has had a great time. My son has begun to participate in the Highland Games as an athlete and my husband and I love going to the meetings and participate in the events throughout the year.”
Vaughan and her friend, Lori Smith, plan and host fundraising events monthly.
“These include kilt nights at local pubs and restaurants, the Tampa Bay Area Renaissance Fair where the New World Celts have a booth, a booth at O’Brien’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and local vendor fairs,” Vaughan said. “We usually have fun baskets of goodies that we raffle off to raise money for scholarships for our local Highland Games athletes, Celtic dancers, bagpipers and other musicians.”
The New World Celts of Brandon meets every third Thursday at O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Grill in Brandon.
“New World Celts is open to everyone; a Celtic background is not necessary,” Vaughan said. “If you have an interest in the Celtic culture, you are welcome to wear their kilt and join us to have fun.”
To learn more about New World Celts of Brandon, visit www.newworldceltsofbrandon.org.