ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP & UNRESTRICTED SUPPORT
"Without music," the novelist Pat Conroy says, "Life is a journey through
A big closet - full of junk - was transformed into a music computer lab. Five new computers allow students to study theory and actually compose their own music. Teacher Allen Bixel says the money has made a world of difference to the music program. "We refinished the band room - new carpeting, paint and lighting. The money also allowed us to purchase new uniforms for the best little band in the land."
Elaine says it was a big boost to the band's morale to get out of the thirty year old uniforms. "It's so nice to wear pants that aren't yellow with age!" Elaine has received lots of individual attention and been given opportunities to invest in her music, because of the administration's willingness to be creative with her class time. That flexibility has helped her to manage her four to five hour daily practice schedule. "Someday I want to play in an orchestra and teach other students to love music as I do." Anyone, who has heard Elaine play the flute, knows she is well on the way to making her dreams come true.
Because of his foresight and generosity, hundreds of students have been riding on the information super highway. Technology Coordinator Barbara Bressler says every student and every teacher depend on the lab. "They do research. One student who was an excellent artist got into the paint program and produced a beautiful work of art, which he used for the cover on an English report. Eventually all our students seem to find their nitch using the computers." Ms. Bressler also teaches computer courses to adults during evening classes at Bishop Guilfoyle. Every year since the original gift, a few more pieces of equipment have been added. Now the computer lab is two classrooms with over sixty computers, 14 printers, a digital camera, smart board and two big screen television sets.
The older students welcome the incoming freshman by taking their pictures with the digital camera and providing each of them with a student photo-ID card they created themselves. Students study for their Spanish tests using software developed by the creators of their language textbooks. One recent graduate became such a talented programmer, he developed his own football game using the high school computers.
Ask Mary Claire, Zac, Katherine, Ben, Scott, Jen or any of the hundreds of students and teachers, parents and grandparents, who have benefited from this gift of technology. It's a whole new world and age is proving no obstacle to learning on the information super highway.
Thank you to the many volunteers and donors who assisted with the Partnership for Education Campaign.
We acknowledge the gifts of Joe Mangarella and family, Anthony Misciagna and family, and the Bishop McCort class of '44 and friends who contributed to the projects noted in this publication. Every gift of time, talent and treasure was critical to the campaign. We also extend our gratitude and prayers to the Pasquerilla family. Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla died last year, but were the lead donors and volunteers for the PFE. An additional bequest gift from the Pasquerilla estate has provided $1.5 million to the Foundation for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown to fund scholarships at Bishop McCort High School.
They sat together at the Point Stadium, part of the Bishop McCort Homecoming Crowd. Then during halftime as they watched the band take the field, one of the Class of 1944, Msgr. Thomas K. Mabon exclaimed, "Isn't this a disgrace? We've got to do something!"
His words were like a trigger opening the flood gates of a dam. The result … an outpouring of generosity that turned the "disgrace" into the "pride" of brand new band uniforms for the Crimson Crushers. "We went for broke," exclaimed Msgr. Mabon, "And we got them while they were hot!" His classmates were literally on fire with the idea and under the leadership of Kay Scott, who died in the Spring of 2000, her husband Phil, Jack Deter and his wife Teasie, Joyce Frederick and Liz Keelan, the idea bloomed into a full scale development project.
Msgr. Mabon said help came from every direction. Other alumni of all ages contributed. The major fundraising event was a huge spaghetti dinner cooked and served by the "experts" from St. John the Evangelist Parish in Everett, who spent two full days in Johnstown preparing and serving the dinner to the 800 attendees.
The class of 1944 invited the students to help with the selection of the new uniforms and by the very next Homecoming the "crummy" uniforms were replaced with absolutely splendid new ones! Bishop McCort band members even had raincoats to cover their new uniforms when the weather was less than cooperative.
The close-knit friends from the class of 1944 are mourning the loss of their friend Kay, but still crowing that their last big push together resulted in such an improvement for their Alma Mater. "I think more students have been joining the band," Msgr. Mabon remarked, "Kay loved bringing people together."
Gifts at Work
Thank you to the many volunteers and donors who assisted with the Partnership for Education Campaign. We acknowledge the gifts of Joe Mangarella and family, Anthony Misciagna and family, and the Bishop McCort class of '44 and friends who contributed to the projects noted in this publication. Every gift of time, talent and treasure was critical to the campaign.
We also extend our gratitude and prayers to the Pasquerilla family. Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla died last year, but were the lead donors and volunteers for the PFE. An additional bequest gift from the Pasquerilla estate has provided $1.5 million to the Foundation for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown to fund scholarships at Bishop McCort High School.
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