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Winter 2008

A Xavier Foundation publication

LaSalle - Regis - Xavier

Foundation Launches Effort to Raise Endowed Scholarship Funds Xavier High School and the Xavier Foundation are committed to ensuring that a Catholic education is affordable for all students and families. In order to keep this commitment, the Xavier Foundation is launching an effort to bring our Endowed Scholarship Fund to $1 million. An endowment fund of this size will provide sufficient annual income to allow all Xavier families who qualify for needs-based tuition assistance, to receive scholarship funds. The Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 1999 as a means to ensure long-term support of Xavier’s tuition assistance program. Today the fund contains $410,000 which is held in permanent trust and invested to produce investment income. This income provides annual tuition assistance to Xavier students who would otherwise not be able to attend Xavier High School. In addition to the invaluable assistance the Endowed Scholarship Fund provides Xavier families, it also offers an opportunity for donors to create a lasting legacy for themselves or others through named scholarships. Donors can establish named scholarships with a gift of $10,000 to the Endowed Scholarship Fund. Xavier High School Tuition Assistance Program • Since Xavier opened, students have received more than $1.3 million in tuition assistance • Average total tuition assistance provided to Xavier families annually is $153,149 • Average number of students who receive tuition assistance each year is 120. • Average award per student is $1727 • 2007/2008 Xavier tuition cost is $3635 for members of participating parishes

Several donors have created scholarships to serve in memory of a loved one. A named scholarship was created for beloved Regis teacher Marie Trachta by former students and friends. Jon and Kay McWhinney created a scholarship in memory of their son Mitch who died while he was a student at Regis. The families of Jennie Basile, Betty Wurdack, Jean Hagen, Richard Lockwood, Dick Rozek, William Thinnes and Rita and Charles Whitters have all created a enduring legacy for their departed loved ones through a named scholarship.

Endowed Scholarship donors Donna Tom Garland pictured with sons Nick (10) and Tom (07). Named Scholarships are also a wonderful way to pay tribute to a living loved one. The children of long time LaSalle, Regis and Xavier supporters Bob and Arlene Erusha named a scholarship for their parents in recognition of their 60th Wedding Anniversary this year. Tom Olson honored his wife Norma Barrios by donating a scholarship in her name. Many donors have noted their commitment to Catholic education by creating scholarships baring their name or the name of their family. Gifts of all sizes to the Endowed Scholarship Fund are vitally important to keep Xavier affordable for all Catholic families. Donations to the Endowed Scholarship Fund can be made online at or sent to P.O. Box 10956, Cedar Rapids, IA 52410-0956. If you would like more information about creating a named scholarship please contact Jody Ruff at (319) 378-4571 or

Alumni Spotlight

D e r e k R i c h a r d s


X 0 5


ot every high school student would see the positive side of stocking shelves day after day, hour after hour at DrugTown in Cedar Rapids, IA. But Derek Richards (X05) made the best of his time replenishing non-perishables and used the experience as inspiration for the creation of his first movie, “DrugTown: The Movie.” His motivation was nothing more than to create a funny film with and for his friends, “Everyone has a creative side to them,” Richards explained, “ and they find a way to channel that into something. My friends and I chose to use our creativity to make a film.” In June of 2006, armed with a basic video camera purchased from Wal-Mart, Richards and his friends began filming their comedic take on life as a part-time employee of HyVee DrugTown. “It was a long, tedious process, but so worth it,” he recalls. “DrugTown: The Movie” became an instant hit with Richard’s coworkers and their friends - and word spread quickly about the film. Soon Richards was bombarded with requests for copies of the movie. He decided to make and sell copies of the DVD for $2 to cover the cost of production. The following February, classmate and friend Kira Carstensen (X05) lost her courageous battle with cancer. After Kira’s passing the Xavier Class of 2005 decided they wanted to do something for Kira and her family, “We knew nothing was going to bring her back, but we wanted to do something,” Richards reflected, “If you ask any of Kira’s close friends they’ll tell you how strong

Making the Most of It a young woman she was. She always put others in front of herself. With the way the world is today, losing Kira is that much more unfortunate, because we could use more people like her.” Around the same time, Richards and his friends were filming a sequel to “DrugTown: The Movie” via request from an everexpanding fan-base. Richards knew that once again, demand for copies of the film would be high, “One day it all just made sense; the class of 2005 wanted to raise some money and I was making a film that could raise some money. It fit.” With the help of Xavier classmate Mitch Fick (X05) and the original cast and crew of DrugTown, they developed a plan to sell copies of the film for $5 each with all proceeds going to the Class of 2005’s fund for Kira. When Richards called Kira’s mom, Mary, Carstensen to tell her about their idea, she suggested the proceeds be donated to the University of Iowa Dance Marathon because of the big role it played in Kira’s life as she got sick. The UI Dance Marathon provides emotional and financial support to children with cancer and their families. To date, Dance Marathon has raised over $5.4 million. Richards and his friends set a goal of raising $500 for the Marathon in honor of Kira. With the help of Collins Road Theatre owner Bruce Taylor, the group premiered their second film, “DrugTown: The Movie II” at Collins Road Theatres in Cedar Rapids in late July 2007. The event raised more than $600. Since then the group has continued to sell copies of the film

bringing their total to more than $850. Richards is currently a junior at Coe College studying Business Administration and Public Relations. Filmmaking is strictly a hobby, says Richards, “As long as it’s (filmmaking) something I enjoy and have a passion for, I’ll keep chasing it. ” Richards also takes time to credit his Xavier experience with helping shape the person he has become, “I owe quite a bit to Xavier, because it has had quite an influence on me and how I’ve turned out. I knew it was a great school when I was there, but my appreciation for it has grown since graduation. I look forward to sending my own kids there someday.” In closing, Richards shared his final thoughts on donating the proceeds of his film in Kira’s name, “If Kira’s life has taught me anything, it’s that life is short, and it’s important to make the best of it. One thing is certain: we get one shot at life and we all get the opportunity to make the most of the time that we do have. “

The LaSalle Class of 1967 40th Reunion, August 25, 2007.

Regis 1977 Reunion, July 21, 2007.

Taking Time To Reunite Regis and LaSalle Classes Celebrate Reunions Thinking about planning a class reunion but aren’t sure where to begin? A Reunion Planning Kit is available on the Foundation website to assist you in planning a successful class reunion. The Foundation will also provide you with a list that includes current contact information for your classmates.

Upcoming Reunions:

Regis 1959 Reunion, July 21, 2007.

Regis Class of ‘97 is planning a reunion celebration for the summer of 2008. Contact Shawn Leuck at for more information or to update your contact information. LaSalle Class of 1988 is planning a 20th reunion celebration for the weekend of June 28 and 29, 2008. Contact Traci Burns at for more information or to update your contact information. Regis 1977 Reunion, July 21, 2007.


The LaSalle Class of 1972 35th Reunion, Summer 2007.

The Xavier Foundation apologizes for the omission of the following donors in the 2006-2007 Annual Report: Annual Donors Foundation Friends: Ronald and Maxine Smith Restricted Donors Commanders: Midwest Janitorial Service and Supply

The Regis Class of 1959 Reunion, June 9, 2007.


Foundation News Getting Down To Business

The Xavier Foundation will kick off the 2008 Business Appeal on February 5, 2008 with a meeting and breakfast for volunteers at St. Patrick’s Parish Center in Cedar Rapids. Dr. John Wollner will serve as Chair and Tony Bedard will serve as Associate Chair of this year’s campaign. Dr. Wollner is a private practice dermatologist. Wollner and his wife Ginger are members of St. Matthew parish and have two sons, Ed (X07) and Derek (X09). Tony Bedard is the CEO of Frontier Natural Products Coop. Bedard and his wife Marcia are members of St. Jude parish, and have two sons, Nick (X05) and Joe (X07); and a daughter, Abby (X11). Dr. John Wollner

Under the leadership of Wollner and Bedard, more than 75 volunteers will canvas the business community to raise funds for Xavier High School. Volunteers will seek to raise $100,000 to support the many needs of more than 775 Xavier students. Also serving in leadership roles for the campaign are team captains: Tom Ekland (L78), Seltic Sales; Joe Kirby, Lynch Ford Chevrolet Pontiac; Bruce Kramer, Aegon; Jeff Kaiden (L72), Principal Financial Group; Jim McPartland (R75), TrueNorth; Becky Picard (L66), Quad City Bancard; Kirk Sadilek, Principal Financial Group; and Randy Scholer, Moyer & Bergman. Businesses in the Cedar Rapids metro area continue to invest in Xavier High School because they recognize it provides an private education alternative and helps economic development in the metro area.


2007 Parish Appeal Raises $385,000 The Foundation is grateful to the thousands of parishioners who generously supported Xavier High School with gifts to the 2007 Parish Appeal. The success of this campaign would not be possible without the hard work and support of all area pastors, the hundreds of volunteers and generous parishioners. All Saints

St. Ludmila

Ted & Paula Fries Jeanne & Phil Philipp

Mike & Lisa Young Randy & Joyce Tietz

Immaculate Conception

St. Matthew

St. Wenceslaus

Mark & Melinda Behounek Jeff & Tanya Rosencrants Diane Ropp

St. Joseph

Randy & Kathy Schmidt Neal & Dawn Feltman

St. Jude

Wes & Lisa Huisinga Tom & Terry Ekland


The Foundation is thankful for the leadership provided by John (R67) and Donna Negro (St. Matthew) chairs, and Rick and Jeanie Tomy (St. Jude) associate chairs. In addition, the Foundation wishes to extend its gratitude to all pastors and the following leadership teams from each parish: St. Pius X

Joanne Young John Miller

Teresa Wery John Svoboda

St. Patrick

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Dan & Shelley Helms Dave & Kathy Jasper

Greg & Bernie Bordignon

St. Patrick, Fairfax

Pat & Cathy McAllister Curt & Karen Woods

Patrick Slater


Alumni Alumni Hall of Fame Outstanding alumni, supporters and faculty from LaSalle, Regis and Xavier High Schools will be honored by induction into the Alumni Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held at Xavier High School on Saturday, January 19 during half-time of the Xavier vs. Solon varsity girls basketball game. The game will begin at approximately 5:00 p.m. and an hors d’oeuvre reception will follow the game.

Xavier Remembers Dear Friends & Alumni Nancy (Pisney) Ruble (R69) of Tampa, FL died on September 23, 2007. Nancy is survived by a daughter, Joy Ann Ruble; son, Roger Ruble; her mother, Mary Pisney, a brother, Dave (R66); and a sister, Carol (Pisney) Ross (R73). Thomas Wilber (L67) and wife Marlene Wilber of Center Point, IA died on August 27, 2007. They are survived by their children, Dawn and Chad; Tom’s brother, Wes; Tom’s sister, Priscilla Miller; Tom’s mother, Mary Ann Wilber; and Tom’s father, Robert Wilber.

Tom Petsche (R89)

Caroline Cavanuagh

Brian Strauss (L88)

The inductees include outstanding alumni of Regis and LaSalle High Schools as well as dedicated supporters and faculty. Caroline Cavanaugh (pictured above) will be inducted for her years of service as a faculty member for Regis and Xavier High Schools; Bob and Arlene Erusha will be inducted in recognition of their ongoing support of Xavier High School; Brian Fagan (R90) will be inducted as an outstanding alumnus in recognition of his extensive community involvement; Tom Petsche (R89) (pictured above) and Brian Strauss (L88) (pictured above) will be inducted for their athletic achievements during their time at Regis and LaSalle; and Carol Trueg will be inducted for her years of service as a faculty member at Regis and Xavier High School. A picture of all 2008 inductees will be printed in the Spring edition of the Common Thread.

Are You Up to the Challenge? In honor of Xavier High School’s 10th Anniversary, Regis Alum Joseph Whitters (R76) has issued a $5,000 challenge grant to all LaSalle, Regis, and Xavier alumni. All new and increased gifts (up to $5,000) to the Alumni Appeal will be matched - dollar for dollar - by the Anniversary Challenge grant (up to $5,000)! The goal for the 2008 Alumni Appeal is $86,000. Funds raised through the Alumni Appeal support current Xavier students. Find out more - visit!

Kathleen (Karkosh) Temeyer (L65) of Cedar Rapids, died on August 17, 2007. Kathleen is survived by her husband, Jerry; a daughter, Pauline; and two sons, Joe and Tim. Also surviving are her grandchildren, a sister, Marcia (Karkosh) Lemke; and a brother, Roy Karkosh (L70). She was preceded in death by her parents, Milo and Whyla Karkosh. Susan (Phillips) Smith (R65) died on September 8, 2007. Susan is survived by her husband, Tom; four children, a sister, and four bothers. Susan was preceded in death by her brother Richard; and her parents. Francis “Frank” Lillis (L64) of Marion, IA died on October 6, 2007. Frank is survived by his wife, Pat. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Gerry and Emmet. Jim Cummins (R63) died October 26, 2007. Jim is survived by his wife, Connie (Driscoll) Cummins (R64); daughters Kim, Chrissy, and Molly; sons John, Billy, and Doug. He is also survived by two brothers, Richard and Bob. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Jack (R66) and Billy; and his parents, Dewey and Dorothy Cummins. Gregory Deimer (R93) of Omro, Wis. died on July 25, 2007. Gregg is survived by his wife, Patricia; parents, Gary and Bev Deimer; and sister Michele Brooks (R95).


Good News From Our Alums! 1970s Jon Anthony Jacobsen (R79) announces his position as Trust Officer and Attorney with Treynor State Bank in Treynor, IA. Jon and his wife Deb have three children, Gerard (16), Peter (13), and Jamie (11). Gary Ask (R79) announces his position as the US Consulate Frankfurt Germany for the FAA. Gary’s job entails traveling all over Europe, Russia, Africa, and the Middle East. Gary and his wife Pamela reside in Frankfurt, Germany. Gerald Pettit (L78) announces his employment with CB&I in Plainfield, IL. Brian Greif (R78) announces his position as Vice President of News with Young Broadcasting in Nashville, TN. Carol (Gerleman) O’Brien (R77) announces her position as Program Director for GoodWill Industries of the Heartland in Cedar Rapids. Carol Forbes (R76) announces the development of a new business called Creations. Carol produces art, needlework designs and photography. Her website is www.thecorridormall. com/creations.

1980s Andy Streit (L89) announces his position as Store Director with Hy-Vee in West Des Moines, IA. Andy and wife Peggy have two sons, Cameron (7) and Zachary (1). Kristin (Sullivan) Janssen (L86) announces her position as Quality Program Specialist with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. Regina (Manning) Brown (L85) and family returned to Cedar Rapids after 21 years. Regina and her husband are employed by Rockwell.


Adam Engelby (R84) announces his position as Quality Assurance Specialist with Reach For Your Potential in Iowa City, IA. Michael Glisch (R83) announces his position as Lieutenant for the City of Plano Police Department in TX.

1990s Gretchen (Cutter) Handfelt (X99) and husband Cory announce the birth of their second child, Sienna Jade on June 7, 2007. Danielle Miller (X99) and Ryan Brady (X99) were united in marriage on July 14, 2007 in Cedar Rapids. Roberto Pino (X99) and wife Whitney announce the birth of son Lorenzo on October 3, 2007. Nathan Kidd (X99) and Kelly Lindsey were united in marriage on September 30, 2006 in Cedar Rapids. Jill Hathaway (R98) and Shane Wheeler were united in marriage on August 11, 2007 in Davenport, IA. Christine Koczo (L98) and Shaun Ritchie were united in marriage on August 19, 2006 in Cedar Rapids. Jeremiah Armstrong (R98) and wife Nicki announce the birth of son Xander on September 23, 2007. Jill Hathaway (R98) and Shane Wheeler were united in marriage on August 11, 2007. Peter Corey (R97) and April Norman were united in marriage on May 19, 2007 in Arlington, TX. Jill Williams-Tyler (L97) announces her position as Business Manager with ServiceMaster 380/First General Services. Traci (Timko) Buse (R97) and husband Nick announce the birth of daughter Samantha on August 15, 2006.

L a S a l l e - R e g i s - Xav i e r Christina Vogt (R95) announces her position as co-founder of Pondur ( Kathy (Fitzpatrick) Bobar (R95) and husband Bill welcomed twin girls, Bailey and Brooke, on September 19, 2007. Douglas Holub (R95) and Brenda Chmelicek (R98) were married August 18, 2007 in Cedar Rapids. Wes Volk (R94) and wife Anita announce the birth of son Jaxon, born April 11, 2007. Shane Skala (L93) announces his position as Supervisor with PMX in Cedar Rapids. Amy High (R91) and husband Darryl announce the birth of daughter Lauren on May 26, 2007.

2000s Shea Ridge (X06) has been elected President of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Abby Becker (X03) announces her position as Supplier Marketing Analyst with Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Minneapolis, MN. Jessica Short (X03) and Daniel Hepworth (X03) were united in marriage on June 23, 2007 in Cedar Rapids. Angela McCarthy (X02) and John Neuhaus were united in marriage on July 7, 2007 in Cedar Rapids. Michael Koth (X01) and Nicole Schmidt were united in marriage on August 18, 2007 in St. Louis, Mo. Meg McDonald (X00) and Michael Hansen (X00) were united in marriage on September 8, 2007 in Cedar Rapids.

Saint Update

Faith In Action

A Celebration of Catholic Schools January 27 - February 2, 2008 The 2008 theme is “Catholic Schools Light the Way.” The theme focuses on the leadership that Catholic Schools, like Xavier, provide to our nation, producing graduates who light the way to a brighter future for all humankind. The theme also highlights the spiritual foundation of Catholic schools, for we are on “The Way,” a biblical term used to describe those who follow Jesus as disciples. The slogan, “Catholic Schools Light the Way,” reminds us that we are called to “light the way” to the kingdom for others even as we walk “the way” of discipleship and grow in faith ourselves. Xavier High School will celebrate Catholic Schools Week with an all-school assembly on Monday, January 28 and an all-school Mass on Wednesday, January 30, 2008.

Good News from Xavier State Champs! On October 27, the Xavier boys Cross Country team repeat-

On November 6 Xavier students traded in their books for rakes and took a break from the classroom to canvas the Cedar Rapids metro area during the annual Community Service Day. More than 700 students participated in the day, pitching in to rake leaves and wash windows for the elderly. The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC); the single largest event organized by the Catholic Church in the United States of America. The conference took place in Columbus, Ohio November 8-10. The Theme was “Discover the Way.” More than 90 Xavier students attended this event along with over 20,000 Catholic teenagers from throughout the United States. Students and faculty alike demonstrated goodwill during the Thanksgiving Food Drive. The food drive brought in more than 300 nonperishable food items for a local food pantry.

ed as Class 3A champions at the state meet. Coach Andy Kauder was named the Iowa Association of Track Coaches Class 3A Iowa Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Anniversary News: Keep your eyes peeled for familiar faces when you’re driving around Cedar Rapids this January! Two billboards have been posted in honor and celebration of Xavier High School’s 10th anniversary! In other Anniversary news; a celebratory anniversary Mass has been scheduled for Thursday, April 10, 2008 (more details to follow in spring newsletter). More Parking: Construction began

on a new parking lot located in front of the high school in mid-November. The faculty parking lot was also expanded. The parking lot expansion is in response to a shortage of parking in both the student and faculty lots as well as lack of parking for athletic and special events.

Xavier students rake leaves on Service Day.

Into The Woods: Hats off to

Director Mike Cervantes and Andrew Last and all of the cast and crew for an outstanding performance of “Into The Woods” at Xavier High School in early November.

Abby Heim (the Baker’s Wife) and Amelia Kundel (the Witch) perform in the fall musical.


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Cedar Rapids IA Permit No. 353

P.O. Box 10956 Cedar Rapids, IA 52410-0956

Return Service Requested

Staff Contact Information 319-378-4571

Executive Director

Jody Ruff:

Annual Fund Director

Lynn Jump:

Director of Marketing & Alumni Relations

Jessica Esch:

Xavier Foundation Board of Directors Officers

Most. Rev. Jerome Hanus, OSB, STL William McCartan John Cleavenger Conrad Baumler Rev. Philip Thompson Jody Ruff

Memorial Mass On December 7, 2007 the Xavier student body celebrated a memorial Mass with the family members and friends of deceased alumni, faculty, and special friends.


Brian A’Hearn Jean Marie Brady, BVM Michele Busse Brenda Clancy Tom Keating Steve Ridge Joanne Stevens Fred Timko Karen Volz Mark Watson

Board Emeritus

Robert C. Erusha Michael Stallman Gary Streit

An online memorial book can be viewed at

Xavier Foundation Common Thread January 2008  

Xavier Foundation Common Thread Newsletter for alumni, parents, and friends of LaSalle, Regis, and Xavier High Schools.

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