Leadership In Action Award Honoree

Norah “Nonie” Finn Kelleher, Founder, Finn Fest Charity Fundraiser


Norah “Nonie” Finn founded The Dorothy Finn Foundation in 2009 the year after her mother  died. Nonie wanted to memorialize her mother who spent the majority of her life helping animal rescue groups and teaching dance to underprivileged and mentally disabled  children. Nonie’s mother was an exceptional  women of deep insight and compassion. She had an unwavering faith that enabled Nonie to live a life way beyond my dreams through an unending gift of spirituality and faith.

Being a musician  Nonie always wanted to produce a music festival, which was the inspiration for Finn Fest. Finn Fest is a “groovy little homegrown music and arts festival” that Nonie holds annually the last Saturday in July on her waterfront property in Island Park. The Finn Fest features numerous local and regional musical acts to perform and artists to display or sell their artwork.

Proceeds from Finn Fest are donated to Bobby and the Strays Animal Rescue, Second Chance Animal Rescue, Little Flower Children's Home, Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Island Park Music Department Sandy Recovery Fund, Jimmy Gubelli Foundation, Long Beach Christmas Angel, Little Kids Rock Foundation, the Michele O'Neil Foundation and Rescue Ink Animal Rescue. 

This past year was a special year because  the Dorothy Finn Foundation raised money  and honored a good friend and local musician  in Brain Mongahan who died suddenly in May. It was an epic day of love and support and generosity  with a total of  10 musical acts and 700 attendees throughout the day.

Nonie is very grateful to the kind  volunteers who are crucial to the success of Finn Fest.  Besides the many volunteers who all work very hard each year, Nonie extends special gratitude, thanks and recognition to the following for their extraordinary expertise, help and support … including Nonie’s husband Ken, friends Sue and Ed Piazza, Ed Crowley and Joan Green, DJ John “The Big Kahuna” Wims, and Cathie and Bob Hall. These special individuals are an integral part of what makes the Finn Fest Charity Fundraiser so successful, enjoyable and memorable.