Bennett Beacon – Winter 2024


News From Our President

January 31, 2024
By Neil Lange

Happy New Year to all of you. It is such an honor to be the president of the Bennett Alumni Association, Inc. As your president, I get to see all of the marvelous programs and events get planned and then, unfold. I am also able to see, up-close, the interactions of students and staff. Each time I welcome alumni back to the building or speak to them on the phone, I am constantly reminded of their devotion to their alma mater!

The academic tone at our school is palpable. Learning permeates the building. Order and discipline is always evident and praise and recognition for doing the right thing is practiced. Much of this is due to the constant advocacy of your Alumni Association and the funds you so generously contribute. Your DUES make miracles happen!!

Since the beginning of the school year, we have done so much to engage alumni and to give back to our school. There are many articles in this edition that touch on those gatherings and happenings.

Early in the school year, your Board of Directors held their first meeting of the academic year. On the following Friday, September 29, 2023, we held a gala to honor all of the members of our Founder’s Circle of the Endowment Fund. We had a large turnout. There was a splendid array of food and beverages. After, we heard from Margaret Puzio, Principal Alvarez and myself about the future of the fund and the current state of the school. Culminating the evening, the permanent display was unveiled with all of the names of donors. A great time of fellowship!!

The next weekend, on October 7, 2023, we celebrated the rebirth of the Sports Hall of Fame. We inducted six outstanding athletes, A pre-show gathering, with a wonderful food display, was held in the front hall giving me the opportunity to greet more alumni. The awards were presented by Roslyn Righetti, chair of the committee. I was thrilled by the large donations from Don Gilbert, ’60 and West-Herr Ford to support the event. A printed program, with many advertisements, helped defray the costs.

We were right back in action for the Annual Meeting on October 12, 2023. Over 30 alumni gathered via Zoom to hear about the accomplishments of the Association. I loved hearing where all of these guests were from and their Bennett memories.

November found some new activities preparing for three holiday events to give back to the students. Our Boxes of Love was a fundraiser to gather specific funds that we could use to buy gift cards to Aldi’s to aid families. Over $1300 was distributed. We also held a campaign using Amazon to get specific items that our young people lack. The staff was thrilled as the packages arrived each day.

Personally, the best event ever was our Holiday Bazaar. Chaired by Linda Scinta from the school and Tara Maj from our Board, bags and boxes of brand-new gifts were received. I was able to set up these items on the Friday before the event. I was so excited to see every table in the Alumni Room filled with gifts. On Monday, December 18, 2023 we were back to do the actual event. Previous to the students attending, Ms. Scinta held lessons about giving. I can tell you these lessons worked.

All of the ninth grade classes and every Special Ed class came to the Alumni Room to shop. I was privileged to greet each student. If you ever wanted to see polite and thankful students, this was the place to be. I never was so excited to see how impactful our Alumni are.

All of these events and many more are made possible by our alumni. If you still need to pay your DUES, please do so soon. We are only able to continue our work because of your contributions. I thank you for being the good people you are. We make a difference!