Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Norphan Weekend Has Come and Gone

The 2018 Norphans’ Weekend has now come and gone.  It was, as usual, a smashing success. Yes, there are many people to thank for this weekend, but we must start with you, the 1,700 or so Norphan community who traveled to North Wildwood to make this weekend the annual success that it has become.  Because of your support, this organization can award grants to needy family members of North Catholic grads to attend one of the high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as well as grants to other select organizations in the Philadelphia area.  For that, our Board of Directors, Jerry Brindisi, Mike McBride, Tom Crossett, Jason Marquess and Mike Ritchie thank you.

Weekend Recap

Friday night “Celebrity” Bartending
This event is held at Keenan’s, where our local “celebrities” take over the bar as bartenders, and all tips collected by these generous supporters are turned over to the Norphans’ organization to be used for the grants mentioned above.  This year was the highest total to date, as the Norphans community came out in droves and generously tipped their servers throughout the evening.  A special thanks to our “celebrity” bartenders, Tom, Joe and Mike Kaiser, Chris James, John Doman, Rusty Bono, Joe “Rabbi” Rapczynski, Jim “HiFi” Carr.
Unfortunately, we have no pictures from this event, as our photographer must have started tipping them back a little too early and missed the event.

Saturday morning North Catholic Alumni Soccer Game
Although this event is independent of the Norphans organization, we would be remiss in not mentioning it here.  Jerry Brindisi pretty much single-handedly puts this game together, along with the assistance of a very active NC Soccer community.  It was very humid during this game, but it didn’t stop the participants, ranging in age from late 20’s to late 50’s from putting on quite a competitive game.  Some estimates had the total crowd, including players at about 300 people.  Although some complained about the condition of the field, which was well sodded grass from end to end.  There were no ruts, dirt mounds or cinders, but the players adapted and played on anyway.  Kevin “Max” McGettigan coached the teams.  Early in the second half, coach McGettigan stopped the game to put in a sub for soccer legend, Rusty Bono.  There was some speculation that this was a signal of Bono’s retirement from alumni games.  But, reached later, Bono, who was still sporting his vintage NC soccer jersey, was quoted as saying, “I’ll play in this game as long as my body will allow.”  From the looks of his slimmed down body, you can expect him to participate for many years to come.
During the game, some pictures, as well as a brief live video were posted to our Facebook page.  For more pictures of this event, click here.

Saturday Afternoon Reunion
As usual, the reunion is the reason for the weekend, as roughly 1,700 Norphan supporters converged at Keenan’s in North Wildwood for 4 hours of camaraderie. While other reunions have an attendance slide in their 7th and subsequent years, the North Catholic community rises to the occasion to show that we are definitely not like any other alumni groups.  We are strong and very dedicated each other, and we will always come together for a great cause like the Norphans.  We did match last year’s attendance, but it’ll be difficult to grow, as we are pretty much at the capacity of Keenan’s.
There are a lot of people who make these events happen.  Many of these volunteers go unnoticed, but are definitely an integral part of the entire weekend.  We’d like to take this time to thank these unsung people, without whom, this weekend could not happen.
Mike McBride, Jerry Brindisi, Tom Crossett, Tom and Butch Oakes, Dennis McDonough, Harry Smith, Mike Primavera, John Barnes, Pat Bethel, Tom Grieco, Cailean Crossett, Tom and Marge Gillen, Kevin “Max” McGettigan, Brian Welty and JP Tees.

Please visit JP Tees, the exclusive provider of Norphan gear, at

Pictures of this event can be found by clicking here.

Sunday Mass on the Beach
As good Catholics, it wouldn’t be a complete weekend without a mass.  It was estimated that well over 400 people attended this year’s mass on this sunny, and quite warm Sunday.  The following people made this mass a huge success:
ConcelebrantsFather John Kelly, Father Joe Campellone and Father Matthew Biedrzycki.
ReadersBob Woltjen, John McCann, Jane Schnatz
SingersJen Creed Rego and Timmy Kelly.  Jim Hellig, of “The Violations” led the congregants in the Alma Mater after mass.
GiftsTom & Mary Gillen
Behind the scenes: John Barnes, the main organizer of the mass.  Little Flower’s own Jen Karcher Blaze, who donated her time, DJ/Sound equipment and musical talents.  The Tange family, from St Anne’s parish, who lent us their NC flag to drape the lectern.  And, finally, Mike Ferris Sr, for providing the live stream of the mass on Facebook as well as pictures for the entire weekend of events.

The video of the live stream is posted on the Norphans’ Facebook Page. As of this writing, this video has been viewed by nearly 1,800 people.  You can see this video by clicking here.

Click here for pictures from the mass.