The Norphans organization was created when the Archdiocese of Philadelphia decided to close our beloved school, and we effectively became the orphans of North Catholic, or the “Norphans.” Since the creation of this organization, we have raised money to help children and grandchildren of North Catholic graduates pay for the ever-increasing tuition at Philadelphia Archdiocesan and Camden Diocese high schools, as well as donations to several select charities in the Philadelphia region. To date, grants have been given out to families that total over a quarter of a million dollars. None of this could have happened without the thousands of Norphans and friends of the Norphans who have contributed their time and money to help these families and organizations over the years. On behalf of the Norphans Board, we would like to thank some of the people who work behind the scenes to make our mission possible.
The 2021 Norphans Summer Reunion was a wild success once again. Holding five separate events over a three-day period can be challenging, especially when those events are held 90 miles from Philadelphia at four separate locations in two towns. It absolutely cannot be pulled off without an army of volunteers and businesses working together to make it all happen.
First and foremost, we would like to thank you, the people who come to our events, buy shirts and hats, and donate the money that allows our organization to help children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of North Catholic graduates who wish to continue their Catholic education at one of the Philadelphia and Camden Diocese high schools in Pennsylvania and South Jersey. Without you, this just doesn’t happen. We can’t thank you enough for your time, generosity, and participation in our events over the years.
One of the largest sources of donations for the weekend was provided by our Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsors. While there are too many to mention here, you can see our list of dedicated and generous sponsors on our Summer Reunion Page.
There are some businesses that deserve a special “thank you” for assisting us in putting this weekend together, including Keenan’s Irish Pub, who hosted three of our five events, allowed us to hold a celebrity bartender event on Friday night, our reunion event on Saturday, and at the last minute allowed us to hold our Mass on the Beach at their location on Sunday. We’d like to thank the entire staff at Keenan’s for their help over the weekend, especially Scott, Jim, Karen, Bobby D, Harvey, Maddi and all the bartenders and servers at our events. Thank you to the Avalon Golf Club and Dennis Jones, who hosted our golf outing on Friday and accommodated our 74 golfers. We’d like to also thank Pat Steffa and Bobby Hoffner, from Krick Wuder Saloon and Restaurant for sponsoring the NC Alumni Soccer game, along with Mike Benarz from Pepsi. Finally, a special thank you to Jay and Joe Petaccio from JP Tees for their design of the gear that we sell at our events as well as their continued support of the Norphans.
Selling advance tickets to our reunion was made easier due to the number of businesses that agreed to sell those tickets. These businesses included Byrne’s Tavern, Mercer Café, Wilson Check Cashing, Pat’s Sports Café, JP Tees, Krick Wuder Saloon and Restaurant, Firehouse Tavern and Dagwoods. Thank you for taking time from your business to help support our cause.
In addition to the businesses and weekend sponsors, there are quite a few individuals that we’d like to thank, and without whom we would never have been able to pull off this weekend of events.
At Guest Bartender event on Friday night, our dedicated bartenders were Tom Razzano, Jim Meehan, Terri O’Connor, Ray Zawisza, Mike Hines, Bill “Tigger” Kiger, and Paul Moore, who served the Norphans throughout the event. They all served drinks like seasoned professionals, and all tips for that event were donated to the Norphans fund.
Our NC Soccer Alumni game included volunteer referees Hector “The Ejector” Montoya and Ray Vozzelli. They didn’t even seem to mind taking grief from both teams as they ensured a fair and safe match. We’d also like to thank the paramedics from the North Wildwood Fire Department who stayed for the entire game, ready to tend to any injuries that may have occurred. Fortunately, they were not needed, but we appreciate them for being there for us.
Our annual Mass on the Beach ended up being a Mass at Keenan’s at the last minute due to forecasted rain. This annual event is pulled together by John Barnes, who secures the location, the priests, readers, singers, ushers, etc. We’d like to thank those who participated in the mass, including Father John Kelly, readers Bob Kelly, Joe Kaiser, and Mina Stendardo, singers Allie Boyle and Timmy Kelly, and our Eucharistic Ministers, Larry Conti and Tom Marunyak. Providing help with the sound system was Jen Karcher Blazejewski.
Last but certainly not least are the individuals who helped us over the course of the weekend. The logistics for holding these events are mind-boggling and could not be pulled off without the following individuals who help in many ways, from transporting and/or selling the NC apparel, assist with setting up each event, selling tickets and generally making the weekend of events go off without a hitch. These good people include, Dennis McDonough, Tom Oakes, Butch Oakes, Kevin “Max” McGettigan, Jess Jastrzembski, Harry Smith, Mike Ferris Jr and Caillean Crossett. Thank you all for your help throughout the weekend. We’d also like to thank Bob Kelly for being the emcee for the reunion as well as DJ Brother Mike Butler.
When you think of the Norphans, it’s obviously more than just a handful of men who serve as board members. It’s you, your Norphans friends and family members and the businesses who support us that make it possible for us to assist the Norphans’ families that we serve. The Norphans Board of Directors can’t thank you enough for all the time, effort, and money that was spent to pull off such an incredible weekend for our entire community.
We are Norphans for Life!
The Norphans Board of Directors
Jerry Brindisi, Tom Crossett, Jason Marquess, Mike McBride, Mike Ritchie