Alumni Form More Than Memories at Reunion Weekend
Rewind to the fall of 2009: it was their 25th reunion here at St. John Fisher College. They returned to campus, caught up with old friends, saw former professors, and had fond memories as they spent time on campus. What they weren’t expecting was to leave after just three days together with an idea and ultimately, a new bond.
Kevin Carges, Rod Christian, Jim Carney, Yvonne Chanatry Cheshire, Tom D'Amico, Michelle LaDuke Senglaub, and Matt Shue – all graduates of the Class of ´84 – founded an organization they call Eight 4 Third World Hope. It’s a grassroots, faith-based volunteer organization that is dedicated to providing hope through aid to Third World countries.
Carges was a deacon for the Diocese of Rochester, and his passion for the people of Haiti, Jamaica, and other Third World countries was an inspiration to his fellow alums. It was also the spark for the group’s new mission. The group’s name was born from their graduating year, but also came from the seven founding members, the eighth member being a symbolic presence, and that member was Jesus.
All of the members have been successful in their respective fields, and each one brings a specific skill set to the organization in order to make it work. Carney is a quality assurance specialist at East House Corporation. Cheshire is a marketing and advertising professional with more than 25 years experience developing and executing marketing campaigns, including copywriting, for companies in the health care, travel/tourism and technology sectors. Christian is director of donor relations for the ARC of Monroe. D'Amico is regional director for Odyssey Software. Senglaub is a marketing and business communications consultant who specializes in public relations and marketing, project management and print and Web editorial services for non-profit organizations and companies in the technology industry. And last, but no least, Shue is a sales account manager for Avaya.
The group is working on behalf of Food For The Poor and its Jamaica School Construction Program and has raised $28,000 – exceeding their goal of $27,500 - to build a brand new school in Concord, St. Ann, Jamaica. The name of the school is Concord Sacred Heart Basic School. Upon completion, 25-40 students between the ages of 3-6 will have a brand new, sturdy wooden schoolhouse. It will include a classroom, kitchen, office, sanitation facilities, ceilings, interior painting, electrical wiring and fixtures, school furnishings, and a wheelchair ramp.
“The new school will bring a fresh start to these students and teachers, providing a safe, healthy, and comfortable learning environment,” said Rod Christian.
For more information about Eight 4 Third World Hope, visit www.eight4thirdworldhope.org.
Check out photos from the Inauguration of Gerard Rooney on Flickr!
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