SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Michael Joseph Fitzgerald of East Longmeadow was recognized as this year’s Irish Elk of the Year during the annual Irish Dinner Dance hosted by the Springfield Elks Saturday night.

The well-attended event took place at the Lodge on Tiffany Street. The Irish Elk of the Year is usually bestowed to a longstanding member of the Irish Committee. The recipient of the accolade normally leads the Springfield Elks and the Irish Committee in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade.

Fitzgerald said he’s honored by this recognition, “There have been so many people before me, and I just feel very honored that they chose me for the Irish Elk of the Year. It can’t be with a better group of people than I am now, and I really appreciate their support.”

Fitzgerald added that he loves working on the parade float and is honored to be a part of an organization as charitable as the Elks.