NY and Boston communities come together to recognize relief efforts at the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy
|Shown (from left) are: Brad Copp -'67( alumni coordinator), Fr. Dennis Billy -'67 (alumni advisor), Dan Palmier -'75, Marie Palmier, Fr. Joseph McLafferty, pastor, and Catherine Fallabella, principal.|
New York, NY Last month, alumni, students, parents and staff of Staten Island's St. Christopher's School gathered at an Alumni Reunion Benefit to honor several individuals who played key roles in rebuilding the school and supporting the community in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Keynote speaker Dan Palmier, graduate of the Class of 1975 and president and CEO of Boston-based real estate investment firm UC Funding, was instrumental in raising funds for storm-ravaged Staten Island and the families of St. Christopher's School. "Our gift to the families of St. Christopher's School was inspired by my grandmother who was still alive at the time," said Palmier. Growing up on Staten Island, Palmier recalled his grandmother's and parents' passion for helping and praying for those in need. "My grandmother lived her life devoted to her three 'F's' - Faith, Family and Friends - and she instilled these beliefs in her children and grandchildren."
Palmier's father continued this tradition as a member of the NYFD for 34 years. Palmier noted that "Tragedies like 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and the Boston Marathon bombing have inextricably linked the New York and Boston communities. As first responders, volunteers,
and fundraisers we will continue to support one another in the face of adversity. These folks are the real heroes and leaders amongst us."
Upon hearing of the devastation of his beloved childhood parish, Palmier immediately mobilized his family and the UC Funding team to collect and deliver much needed supplies from Boston to the St. Christopher's families. Brad Copp '67, alumni coordinator for the event, had reached out to Palmier via email after hearing of his efforts helping families located in greater New York and New Jersey. Palmier quickly realized what was really needed for the St. Christopher's community was a way to make ends meet and support their children's education.
Palmier set an initial goal to raise $50,000, which UC Funding would match. Within two weeks, Palmier and UC Funding had raised over $100,000 for the St. Christopher's relief effort, in addition to $50,000 previously raised for the American Red Cross. UC Funding also hosted a donation drive throughout the Greater Boston area, collecting hundreds of bags of supplies which the company transported to Staten Island.
Palmier, also an alumnus of Staten Island's Monsignor Farrell High School and University of Notre Dame, credits his parents' early partnership with St. Christopher's School as his start to a great education. "Every day is a day of opportunity. Tonight, as you look around the room, our alumni have come from as far away as California, Colorado and Florida, demonstrating the strength and commitment to the Staten Island and St. Christopher's community. In business and in life, success is a choice, but helping others is an obligation," he said.
After the April, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, St. Christopher's Principal Catherine Fallabella rallied her students to help the victims by raising money from a weekend bake sale. She agrees with the UC Funding "Strong" team that "Giving is infections, so let's start an epidemic."