For those of you who knew Dick “Mac” McEldowney, you know why we embarked on this journey. For those who did not have the privilege to know Mac, we ask that you come to know our mission.
Mac’s Irish Bash is the sole fundraiser for the McEldowney Academic Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund is in memory of Dick McEldowney, who was lovingly known by all simply as "Mac." Mac was a civic leader who believed strongly in living a life of service. Upon graduating from Altoona Area High School Mac began his adult life by serving our country in the United States Marine Corps. He returned to Altoona, attended Penn State Altoona and began a career in civil engineering.
Mac served our community as an Altoona city councilman from 1980 until 1984. He served as a board member on the Altoona Housing Authority, the Altoona Zoning Board, the AMED Board, and the Pennsylvania Economy League. He served as president of American Society of Highway Engineers. He was a committee person for the Pennsylvania state and Blair County Democratic Party. He also served as president of the Knights of Equity. He enthusiastically volunteered his time as a youth football coach for the Altoona Parochial League. He also devotedly served his Catholic faith and belonged to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lakemont.
Mac never hesitated to lend his talents, energy and passion to so many causes and pursuits. With a wide grin, a laugh and a pat on the back, he could make life’s obstacles seem manageable. Along the way he touched many lives—young and old. Mac’s door—as well as his heart—was always open to those wanting to enter.
Following the overwhelming outpouring of love and support after Mac’s passing in 2003, we knew that his life’s work could continue and his memory would live on eternally. The committee established this scholarship in memoriam—so that they could continue his legacy of influencing young people in our community.
Over the past 19 years, the donors of Mac’s fund have enabled the scholarship committee to award nearly $350,000 helping to change the lives of hundreds of local students. But Mac’s Fund has even gone further. It has provided holiday meals to families in need, supported local churches’ youth programs, supported grief camps for children, and supported other organizations with that share our mission.
We ask that all of you celebrate our combined achievements that have made a difference to so many people and will help our community have a bright future!