SCRANTON -- A well-known Saint Patrick's Day celebration drew hundreds Friday evening in Scranton.
The Society of Irish Women held its annual dinner, but this year's event was anything but ordinary due to who the ladies brought in as their keynote speaker: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
And with an introduction from the president of the Society of Irish Women, the ballroom at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Scranton erupted with thunderous applause and a standing ovation.
As keynote speaker for the Society’s 19th annual Saint Patrick's Day dinner, Clinton came with a message of inspiration.
“To try to understand what could be done even better than it was yesterday, and I am convinced that that is the spirit of Scranton and it's that spirit that will lift us up,” said Clinton.
The society says they were floored the former First Lady, former U.S. Senator, former Secretary of State and former Democratic presidential nominee agreed to come.
“When I got the call, I was in the car with my husband and I had to literally pull the car over, and my poor husband,” said President Mary Clare Kingsley. “I was like, 'Yes, yes, yes!' I was hitting him on the arm, and the poor guy was bruised for a couple of days.”
Clinton is no stranger to Scranton as this was her father's hometown.
“Now, my father was the second of three boys. He attended North Scranton Junior High and then Central High School,” said Clinton.
As this was Clinton's first official appearance since the election, her visit drew out fellow Democrats, including Governor Tom Wolf and U.S. Senator Bob Casey.
“Her first official speaking engagement is here in Scranton. She's coming home to Scranton,” said Evie Rafalko McNulty, a founding member of the Society. “As I will say to her tonight, we are her village. It takes a village and we're hers.”