By Kevin O’Connell ’21

In a year where nothing seems to make sense, one thing remains a constant: the Brother Rice community’s passion for giving. Last week’s Giving Tuesday was a tremendous success and provided some reassurance for the Brother Rice family in these unprecedented times.

Brother Rice raised a total of $126,025 on Dec. 1, shattering the $100,000 goal. Donors such as Ed and Lori McGunn and Dr. Patrick and Maureen Sweeney were instrumental in achieving this number, along with the hundreds of other contributors.

Current students have been expressing thanks over the past week. Senior Jack DeMatteo said, “It’s always nice to see alumni give back to the Crusader family.”

Students themselves played a role in encouraging fundraising in the days leading up to Giving Tuesday. BRTV created a video highlighting Crusader traditions, including Mr. Albanese’s famous “minus 5.” Seniors Sean Mahanes, Quinn Clifford, Josh Bell and Pat Ward spoke about the four cornerstones of a Christian Brothers education: Academic, Involved, Family and Spiritual.

Even if students are not able to be in class some days, we can always rely on the Crusader community to give back for the good of the school. The funds raised last week will be extremely beneficial to Brother Rice’s future endeavors.

As Mr. Molenda said in a recent video, “Thank you Crusaders for your donations and your support. We really appreciate it.” These words sum up the feelings of everyone who walks our halls. Brother Rice would not be where it is today without the support of all the members of our community.

Director of Leadership Gifts Tim O’Connell said, “Giving Tuesday 2020 was an incredible success. We had 380+ donors contribute over $126,000 to the global generosity movement. Given the pandemic, our virtual fundraising efforts are more critical than ever before. We are so proud of the way our Crusader supporters stepped up.” O’Connell and the rest of Institutional Advancement have expressed gratitude passionately over the past week.

Since I am going to college next year, I will not get the full benefit that these donations will provide. However, I know I am leaving 99th and Pulaski in good hands. Our family will continue to improve the experience that I have gained so much from the past four years, and I am sure those who come after me will grow into virtuous young men just as I have.