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This year, the Haymarket Center Gala will feature Irish-American actor, director, and travel writer Andrew McCarthy, who will discuss his own recovery from alcohol addiction. McCarthy explains, “I really support and believe in the work that Haymarket does because, let’s face it, treatment and recovery works. I’m living proof.”

Haymarket Center is Chicago's largest and most comprehensive provider of substance use disorder, (SUD) mental health treatment services, and primary care combined.  Proceeds from the Gala will support its work to restore hope for Chicago’s most vulnerable. Haymarket’s holistic approach integrates substance use treatment, mental health care, primary care and supportive services including family-centered care, job training and placement to support long-term recovery. It is the only provider in Chicago that admits patients 24/7/365, and the support Haymarket provides is available to all, regardless of ability to pay. 

Andrew McCarty is a director, an award-winning travel writer, and – of course – an actor.  He made his professional debut at 19 in Class, and has appeared in dozens of films, including such iconic movies as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Then Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin. His memoir chronicling this time, BRAT: an 80’sStory, became a New York Times Bestseller in 2021.

Andrew has directed nearly a hundred hours of television, including The Blacklist, Grace and Frankie, New Amsterdam, Orange is the New Black, and many others.

For a dozen years Andrew served as an editor-at-large with National Geographic Traveler magazine. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and many others. He was named Travel Journalist of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers, as well as serving as guest editor of the prestigious BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING anthology. 

Andrew is the author of a travel memoir, The Longest Way Home and a Young Adult novel, Just Fly Away, BRAT, and Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain - all New York Times bestsellers. He lives in New York.

In 2015, his quest to discover his family’s roots in Ireland was featured in Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips and Strategies to Find Your Family History.

In the book, McCarthy discusses not feeling any special attachment to Ireland, despite his clearly Irish surname, until he visited the country for the first time in 1986, when he immediately felt “somehow ‘home.’” This led to many more visits to Ireland over the years, including one to Dublin during which McCarthy met his future wife. 

It was not until he bought a home in Dublin and had children that McCarthy began exploring his Irish roots. He had assumed his family was from County Cork, but learned to his surprise that he was “a Kerry man.” He said, “It was as if I awoke, after a lifetime of supporting the New York Yankees, to find that my people actually hailed from Boston, and I was actually meant to be a Red Sox fan.” Following a few mental adjustments, McCarthy embraced his new heritage, which led him to his great-grandfather’s house, where he met the second cousin who now lives there.

The Gala will be a fantastic opportunity to, not only learn more about McCarthy’s personal story, but also support Haymarket’s important work to address issues that touch all families and its effort to make Chicagoland communities safer and healthier. It will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue. More information can be found at https://www.hcenter.org/gala