Second and Third Nights of LEF Calling Produce Fantastic Results
The chairman of the 2014-15 Living Endowment Fund (LEF) drive, Mike Varisco ’83, is smiling these days. And for good reason.
One day after 75 alumni volunteers garnered 566 pledges, 80 alumni returned to Carrollton and Banks to haul in another 569 commitments from Blue Jay alumni across the country and the world. And to cap it off, the final evening of calling produced a record final-night haul.
On Tuesday, Oct. 14, volunteers surpassed $216,000 in pledges. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, pledges totaled $160,000. On Thursday, 60 callers gathered another $113,000 in promises from 373 Blue Jays.
“I am so grateful for the work our graduates are doing to remain connected to each other and to Jesuit,” said president Fr. Anthony McGinn, S.J. ’66, who thanked his fellow Blue Jays for helping keep their alma mater accessible to as many families as possible.
On Tuesday, volunteers were treated to a delicious spaghetti and meatballs dinner. Wednesday’s menu included Chicken Lombardi. On Thursday, alumni enjoyed New Orleans po-boys and a sampling of Louisiana-brewed beers. The po-boys were provided by 2006 alumnus Max Gruenig, who stuck around for calling with seven of his classmates.
Annual support from alumni, parents, and parents of alumni allow Jesuit to charge about 75 percent of what it actually costs to educate a Blue Jay.
The fall LEF calling event was preceded by an alumni captains meeting, in which representatives from 50 classes returned to campus to hear from Fr. McGinn and alumni director Mat Grau ’68 about school and alumni activities.
Most of the callers live in the New Orleans area, although one Blue Jay — Mike Waldo ’70 — drove in from his home in Pensacola to connect with his classmates. Waldo is helping lead the newly-formed Emerald Coast (Pensacola-Mobile-Destin) alumni chapter.
Tom Blum, who lives in New Orleans, caught up with a 1961 classmate of his who’s living in Germany.
As of Friday, Oct. 17, 1,749 alumni had pledged a total of of $620,000. The Class of 2003 has the most pledges so far with 80. The Class of 1991 has produced the largest financial commitment — $38,352.
“Our goal is 4,000 participants,” said an appreciative Varisco, “and we’re off to an outstanding start.”