The venue was different, but the camaraderie and spirit were distinctively Leo as the Alumni Association held its annual banquet/reunion on Friday, April 29.
The sale of the Lexington House resulted in a move further west on 95th Street, to the Chateau Del Mar banquet Hall at Hickory Hills Country Club. A turnout of more than 600 featured the Golden Jubilee Class of 1966 and the Silver Jubilee Class of 1991.
One of the evening’s highlights was the introduction of Jack Fitzgerald ’69 as Man of the Year. A standout lightweight basketball player at Leo, Fitz taught and coached at the school for 24 years and was responsible for some of Leo’s most successful basketball teams, winning more than 400 games. He continues to serve Leo as a member of the President’s Advisory Board.
Bob Hennessy ’73, active in volunteer work in the Southwest suburbs, received the Community Service Award. The Doc Driscoll Award for dedicated service to Leo went to Dr. Tim Wollner ’75, the Lions’ former longtime football team physician.
Special guests included the family of Coe Francis, a 1966 Leo grad who was inducted posthumously into the Leo Hall of Fame. An All-City quarterback at Leo, Coe accepted a football scholarship to the University of Illinois, but he died in a drowning accident within a few days of graduation in June 1966.
The Class of ’66 funds a Leo scholarship for a deserving student-athlete in memory of Coe and his late classmate and former basketball teammate Marty Walsh. The current recipient is Leo senior Sir Laurence King, an honor student and All-State cross country runner.
Joining Coe as 2016 Hall of Fame inductees were Martin Murphy, a 98-year-old member of the Class of 1934, as well as Ed White ’52, Larry Bahnaman ’60, Bill Conlon ’63, Ray Siegel ’65, Chris Watson ’95 and Mary T. Burke, who manages the Leo web site and is a major contributor to the school’s recruiting and marketing efforts.
Speaking for the Golden Jubilee Class of 1966, Dr. Jim Stankiewicz challenged other alumni classes to follow the lead of his group and fund a scholarship for a deserving Leo student. One hundred men contributing $80 a year, or eighty men contributing $100 a year, could cover a full tuition-and-fees scholarship for a promising student who requires financial help to attend Leo.
Alums interested in participating in this scholarship program are asked to contact President Dan McGrath at Leo: 773-224-9600, ext. 209, or firstname.lastname@example.org.