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Xavier Foundation

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2011 Parish Appeal Kicks Off The tradition of excellence that Xavier High School has maintained for 13 years cannot be understated. With the continued support of our tremendous Parish community, Xavier High School will remain a special place where students are encouraged and guided to explore, deepen and share their faith through prayer, liturgy, reconciliation, retreats, faith groups, service work, theology classes and much more. We are very grateful to all who support our mission by making the Xavier Foundation’s Parish Appeal a charitable priority in their life. Your generosity in the form of a Parish Appeal gift remains a vote of confidence in our efforts to provide the very best in Catholic Education. The Xavier Foundation will kick-off this year’s Parish Appeal on September 24 and 25. Campaign Chairs Jeff and Monica Robinson of St. Jude Parish and Associate Chairs John and Dana Miller of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish will lead the community-wide effort to raise $410,000 for Xavier High School. Pledge cards will be available before and after all Masses the weekends of September 24, 25 and October 1, 2. The gift of a Catholic education would not be possible without your prayers and generous gifts. Well over 200 parishioners volunteer their time and efforts to help make the Annual Xavier Foundation Parish Appeal a success. These volunteers agreed to lead the Appeal at your parish: All Saints: Mike (R82) and Lisa (Mason) Wallerstedt (R82), Gary and Shelly Zaugg; Blessed John XXIII: Rick and Paula


Moore, Jim and Amy (Melchert) Lansing (R85); St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Greg and Brenda Ort, Greg and Marci Wertzberger; Immaculate Conception: Kendall Krouse and Diane (Fagan) Ropp (R85); St. Joseph: Bruce and Jo Marie Elkema, Ken and Rosemary Bauer; St. Jude: Kevin and Jean Biermann, Lou and Carla Montuoro; St. Ludmila: Kari Winders and Sara (Swore) Baldus (L87); St. Matthew: Cynthia and Bill Sueppel, Jeff (R74) and Mary Scherrman; St. Patrick: Marian Biggins, Dan (L87) and Shelley (Swindler) Helms (L89); St. Pius X: Jeff and Lorie Hines, Brian and Kathy Walvoord; St. Wenceslaus: Dave Martin and Patti Jansa. If you have any questions, please contact Lynn Jump at (319) 378-4571 or

Jeff and Monica Robinson, Dana and John Miller.

FALL 2011

2011 Pastors Appreciation Dinner On June 16, the Xavier Foundation Board of Directors and staff welcomed our metro-area pastors to Xavier High School for the annual Pastors Appreciation Dinner. Xavier Foundation Board Chair Bill McCartan welcomed and thanked the pastors for all they do for their parishes and our Catholic schools. Principal Tom Keating took a few moments to thank the pastors for their continued support of Xavier High School. During the evening, the pastors had the opportunity to meet the Foundation’s chairs for the 2011 Parish Appeal, Jeff and Monica Robinson members of St. Jude Parish and John and Dana Miller members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. We are blessed and thankful to have the leadership and support of our pastors for the annual Xavier Foundation Parish Appeal. Pictured at the dinner (above

right), Father Phil Thompson, Fr. David O’Connor, Fr. Tom McDermott, and Fr. Dustin Vu.

Schimberg Welcomed to Board of Directors The Xavier Foundation is pleased to welcome Joe Schimberg to the Board of Directors. Joe is the President of the Schimberg Company, a third generation family business in Cedar Rapids. A 1965 graduate of LaSalle High School, Joe and his wife Lynda (Griffin) Schimberg (R65) are members of All Saints Parish. They have four children who all graduated from Regis High School: Stacy Cataldo (R88), Dave (R91), Charlie (R94) and Jolyn Robbins (R98). They also have eight grandchildren two currently students at Regis Middle School and two at All Saints School. Joe replaces Mark Watson (R68) who served on the Foundation board for six years. Special thanks to Mark for sharing his expertise and dedication!

Retirement Plans Make Excellent Charitable Donations Most retirement plans, including 401(k)s and IRAs, are income tax–deferred, meaning that income tax is not paid until the funds are distributed to you in life, or upon your death. This taxation makes retirement assets among the most costly assets to distribute to loved ones. Because they are subject to income taxes to your beneficiaries, retirement assets make ideal gifts to tax-exempt charitable organizations such as the Xavier Foundation. Otherwise, the income taxes on retirement assets you leave to your loved ones can be as high as 35%. This means that an IRA worth $100,000 will be worth only $65,000 by the time it reaches them. On the other hand, the naming of a charity as the beneficiary of retirement assets upon death generates no income taxes. The charity is tax-exempt and eligible to receive the full amount and bypass any income taxes. This means that in the above example, the Xavier Foundation would receive the full $100,000 benefit. For more obligation-free information on how you can maximize assets given to your heirs while supporting generations of Xavier students contact Jody Ruff at (319) 378-4571 or

Xavier Celebrates Homecoming 2011 The Saints will take on Iowa City High during the Homecoming 2011 game on Friday, September 16 - come cheer them on! Be sure to stop by the LaSalle - Regis - Xavier Alumni Hospitality Booth and grab a few goodies, compliments of the Alumni Board, before you take your seats! Tickets are sold at the gate; $6 for adults and $5 for students. Need to update your Xavier wardrobe? Stop by the Saint Shop and check out the new merchandise for 2011-2012! For more information visit

Most people need wills, and when you make yours, please remember the Xavier High School Foundation.

Xavier Foundation

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Year In Review August 2010

November 2010

• The Xavier Girls Soccer team was selected as the 14th ranked team in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Saints went 22-0 and won the State 1A Championship in the spring of 2010.

•The Xavier High School community participated in an annual Service Day on November 3, 2010. Patrick Atkinson, founder and CEO of the God’s Child Project, kicked off Community Service Day by addressing the student body on the importance of service and God’s plan for each of us. At the conclusion of his presentation, Xavier’s very own God’s Child Project club presented Patrick with 150 English and Spanish books to take back with them to start a library for students studying at the Scheel Center in Guatemala.

September 2010 • The Xavier High School Theatre Department presented Godspell, a musical based on the Gospel of St. Matthew • Five Xavier students announced as National Merit Semi-Finalists including: Wyatt Hagen, Peter Ickes, Andrew Schrader, Kyle Tietz, Jacob Wallraff.

October 2010 • International Round Table event brought more than 77 foreign exchange students and 14 student journalists to Xavier High School for a day long information sharing session. • Xavier students participated in the school’s sixth Kairos retreat. • Respect Life Week was recognized with a variety of events including the placement of 400 white crosses at the Activities Entrance to symbolize 1/10 of the number of lives lost to abortion each day in the United States and a Baby Shower for Aid to Women and Birthright. • The Marching Band earned a Division I rating in the State Competition held on Saturday, October 9th at Kingston Stadium. This is the Band’s first Division I rating in seven years. • The annual Memorial Mass was held to remember and honor alumni, teachers and faculty and friends of Xavier High School. • The Xavier Football team finished the season with a record of 7-3 and ranked 8th in the final Associated Press 4A Poll.


• The 2010 Volleyball team set a school record for winning 30 matches and advancing to the State Semifinals- a first in XHS history! • All six of the school’s fall athletic teams qualified for the state academic achievement award!

December 2010 • Xavier alumni Aaron Junge and Dennis Conway returned to XHS to share their stories regarding their vocation paths during an all-school prayer service. • Xavier students donated 71 units of blood to win the “Battle of 42nd St. Blood Drive.” 137 units were collected in all! • Xavier students, faculty and staff provided Christmas gifts to area needy families through the Angel Tree project.

January 2011

the children being treated for cancer at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

Principal, Tom Keating before uniting with their grandchildren for Mass.

• Eleven Xavier students traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the March for Life to show their support for respect for all life and for human rights.

•The Junior class participated in a day of community service and faith sharing.

• 13 Xavier groups earned a Division I Rating in the Large Group District Speech Contest.

February 2011 • Four alumni, Craig Chmelicek (R90), Renee Dietrich (L87), Brad Joens (R96) and Dan Sullivan (L67) were inducted into the LaSalle – Regis – Xavier Alumni Hall of Fame. • The Third Annual LaSalle Regis - Xavier Alumni Basketball Tournament took place. More than 70 alumni returned to Xavier for the festivities. • The Foundation Business Appeal kicked off. By the end of the appeal, more than $110,000 was raised in support of Xavier High School. • Members of the Jazz Band, Jazz One received a Division I, the first ever in school history! • Xavier High School’s Drama Department presented The Fox and the Hound. • Sixteen Xavier Business Professionals of America students earned a total of eight first place finishes at the BPA State Conference. Fifteen of these students qualified to compete at the 2011 BPA National Conference held in Washington, D.C., in May.

• 6th Annual “Discover Xavier Night” was hosted for 8th graders and their parent. The evening is designed to provide prospective students and their parents an opportunity to learn about the Xavier experience.

March 2011

• Xavier students raised more than $5,000 at the Fourth Annual Mini Dance Marathon. Proceeds were sent to the University of Iowa Dance Marathon which supports

April 2011

• The State Individual Speech Contest was held on Saturday, March 12th. Xavier received 19 Division I Ratings out of 27 entries.

•Grandparents of Xavier High School students were honored with a light breakfast and social followed by a visit with Xavier

•Holy Thursday was observed with a presentation of the Stations of the Cross. This tradition has become a truly powerful time of prayer and reflection for XHS students. •Xavier won the State Championship in the non-A.P. Economics category at the Xavier State Economics Challenge. •The Foundation Alumni Phonathon ended. The appeal raised nearly $69,000 in support of Xavier High School.

May 2011 •The senior class enjoyed a day of spiritual retreat as one of their last opportunities to share faith and fellowship as a class. •209 seniors celebrated with a Baccalaureate Mass before becoming official graduates of Xavier High School. •Eight Xavier students attended the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference held in Washington D.C. Five students brought home eight national awards.

June 2011 • 16 students and four adult leaders traveled to Denver, CO to take part in Xavier’s annual service trip. • The Xavier Girls Golf team qualified for state for the first time in school history. •The Boys Soccer team won their second straight state championship! •The Girls Soccer team won their sixth straight state championship!

FALL 2011

Life After Xavier Will Martin (X07) Reflects

An accomplished student and athlete, 2007 Xavier graduate Will Martin’s many achievements and accolades could easily overshadow and color his view of his time spent at Xavier High School. Instead, when asked to share his Xavier experience at the Foundation’s Annual Recognition Reception, this humble and focused young man reflected on how Xavier helped shape his faith and determine the path he would take for his future. Martin, a 2011 graduate of Loyola University stated, “The environment Xavier provided spiritually for me has forever changed my life. It was during my time at Xavier when I found my faith. And it was through this faith that I found my calling to be a doctor.” Martin, who began medical school at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in August went on to explain, “Xavier did not force me to find my faith, it provided me the opportunity to not only find, but explore my faith. One of the most important things during the day for me was the morning prayer and reflection. To hear from the people who taught me everyday give their thoughts on a reading made me think about how the readings related to my own life. And this has made my faith very personal which is a big reason why my faith is easily the most important part of my life.” Although Martin praised the challenging academics, outstanding faculty, and the countless activities offered at Xavier, his focus always returned to faith. Martin even noted a particular instance that helped alleviate his mom’s fears that a scientific career in medicine might make him lose his faith in God; “Mr. Schaub (Xavier High School biology teacher) had explained to me that although he was a very scientific person, he also believed in the existence of God. He made me think about how the world and the human body are so complex and so amazing, it’s only logical that a higher being, God, must be behind it all. And this way of thinking has really helped me blend both my love for science and my love for God and has strengthened my faith enormously.”

Standing: Will Martin (X07) pictured with his sister, Lucy Martin (X13) and (seated left to right) girlfriend, Krista Pederson (X09); mother, Pam Perez; grandmother, Joan Martin; and father, Dennis Martin (R77)

Xavier Foundation

Annual Recognition Reception On August 10, 2011 the Xavier Foundation hosted a donor recognition reception to honor members of the Archbishop Circle, Heritage Society and Scholarship Endowment Circle. Archbishop Jerome Hanus, esteemed guest and member of the Xavier Foundation Board of Directors, personally recognized the donors for their commitment to Catholic Education. During the reception, five new members were inducted into the Heritage Society. 2011 inductees include Brenda Clancy, James Clancy, Debora Neumeyer, Gregory Neumeyer and one anonymous member. The Xavier Foundation is committed to ensuring future generations of students will continue to receive a quality Catholic secondary education. The Heritage Society was established to recognize donors who share this commitment by including the Xavier Foundation in their estate or deferred giving plans through a bequest in an insurance policy or retirement plans, or through a trust or charitable gift annuity. The Archbishop’s Circle was initiated to recognize and thank donors who have demonstrated their commitment to Xavier High School by supporting the Foundation with generous unrestricted gifts of $1,000 or more during the Foundation’s fiscal year. Gifts at this level help support the Foundation’s mission and help Xavier plan for the future. Each year the Foundation acknowledges the honor roll of Archbishop’s Circle members based on gifts and payments given to the annual appeals during the fiscal year. Members of the Scholarship Endowment Circle have created an endowed scholarship with a minimum gift of $10,000 to help provide students with tuition assistance for generations to come.

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Run for Your Life! Matt Erusha (X02) Runs With the Bulls

Matt Erusha (X02) has the ultimate “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” story; a story worthy of countless retellings. Quite simply put, this summer, Matt Erusha and two friends ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Matt and his buddies, Matt Mitchell and Lars Bell, began making plans for their trip of a lifetime a year in advance. “I wanted to do it (run with the bulls) for a couple of years now. It was one of the things that was on my bucket list and looked like it would be fun to do.” The annual festival of San Fermin, or the Pamplona Bull Run as it’s more commonly known begins at noon on the 6th of July. Thousands of people congregate in the square in Pamplona awaiting the mayor’s official announcement that the fiestas have begun, a rocket is launched and the partying begins.

The approximately half mile run snakes through cobbled, narrow streets marked out by a tall, sturdy double-lined fence and averages three minutes from start to finish.

Matt Mitchell, Lars Bell, Matt Erusha.

The Bull Run takes place every morning from July 7th through the 14th. The actual run stretches from the corral at Santo Domingo where the bulls are kept, to the bullring where they fight that same afternoon. The trio of friends woke up around 6 am to prepare for the day ahead. The group set off dressed in the traditional white shirt and pants with a red bandanas tied around their necks and red scarves around their waists. When they arrived at the gates they were momentarily waylaid as officials informed them they had reached capacity for the day and were not allowing any more runners on the course. After planning so long and traveling so far, the trio was determined to find a way to participate in the run. Down but not out, the group made their way to a gate with a seven foot drop onto the course and unanimously made the decision to jump. At precisely 8:00 a.m. a rocket was fired to confirm that the gate has been opened at the Santo Domingo corral and moments later, a second rocket was fired to announce that the bulls had left. The race had begun and six fighting bulls and two herds of bullocks were hot on the heels of the runners. “Once we were on the course it was absolute insanity. The streets are narrow and are jammed packed with people. I had


my surreal moment about five minutes before the run started. I was standing there, in this narrow alley jammed packed with people, looking at all the spectators lining the course and out on their balconies, thinking to myself, “What in the world is going on right now?”

“I was running as fast as I could, in an alley that had no escape route, with tons of people, with full grown bulls running four wide right behind me. That feeling was like nothing I had ever felt before in my life. It was the biggest rush I have ever experienced. I was at an arm’s length from these bulls as they passed me. I swear my heart stopped beating for a split second.”

A third rocket is set off once all the bulls have entered the bullring and the fourth and final rocket signals that all of the bulls have been contained in the bullpen and the Bull Run has finished. As runners crowded in the Bull Ring filled to capacity with fans to await the release of the smaller bulls, the three friends showed off their love for the USA by removing their white pants to reveal red, white and blue American flag Speedos. The goal with this group of bulls is to get close enough to slap them on the behind. Erusha proudly accomplished this goal as the bulls charged ahead, flipping people into the air as the crowd screamed with excitement. One action and adrenaline packed morning yielded more than just a lifetime worth of memories for Erusha, “I learned a lot about myself on this trip and grew as a person. It really did change me and was an eye opening experience. I fell in love with Europe. Their way of life and the things they value struck a chord with me. They are never in a rush and truly value the time they spend with friends and family. It was a life changing experience for me.” Next up for Erusha is a trip back to Spain for the biggest tomato fight in the world... let’s hope he leaves the white pants at home for that trip!

FALL 2011

Alumni News LaSalle - Regis - Xavier Todd Hingtgen (R77) and Tamara (Fox) Hingtgen (R77) became the proud grandparents of Norah Taylor Marshall born July 25, 2010. Norah’s parents are Tracie (Hingtgen) Marshall (X02) and Jason Marshall. Michelle Fox (R84) and Dean Maus were united in marriage on May 1, 2010. They reside in Cedar Rapids with Dean’s three children. Michelle has worked as a registered nurse for St. Luke’s Hospital for 20 years. She currently serves as the lead nurse in the recovery room. Lori (Tawney) Johnson (L88) and her husband Don moved to West Virginia in 2004. Daughters Cassandra and Elizabeth graduated from Hedgesville High School in 2010 and 2011. Both are attending Shepard University this year. Son Nicholas starts Hedgesville High School this year playing football and basketball.

Chuck Cavanaugh (R91) was a 2011 champion recipient of a Jefferson Award for community service for involvement over the years with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Knights of Columbus, Cedar Rapids St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society, and The Arc of East Central Iowa.

Janet (Ockenfels) Huebner (L92) and husband Keith live n Mount Vernon, IA with children Kindra (17), Joseph (6), William (3) and Isaac (1). Matt Buckley (L96) and wife Christal welcomed their first child, Isabel Maria on June 10, 2011. The family resides in Yuma, AZ.

Jay Bowers (X01) and Ella Hoff were united in marriage on July 3, 2010 at St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Church in Cedar Falls, IA. Jay and Ella currently reside in Omaha, NE where Jay works with a medical device sales company. Meghan Bean (X04) received her Masters of Fine Arts Degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Graduate College of Art. Derek Kramer (X08), part of the 4x100 meter relay team at the University of Northern Iowa, won the Missouri Valley Conference Championship and advanced to regionals at Eugene, OR on May 28, 2011 where they qualified for the NCAA Division 1 Track and Field Championships held at the Drake relays. The team placed 21st in the nation in the men’s 4x100 meter relay and were awarded All American honors.

In Memory Of Alumni & Friends

Richard “Dick” Wheeler, formerly of Cedar Rapids, died February 15, 2011. Dick was a great friend of the Regis and Xavier High School athletic programs and volunteered his time to the boys basketball teams for more than 30 years as team statistician. Michael “Mike” Merrifield (L64) of Cedar Rapids died May 15, 2011. Mike is survived by his wife, Bonnie; children, Michelle Svoboda and David Merrifield. Harold “Hal” Hart (R65) formerly of Cedar Rapids died May 17, 2011. Hal is survived by his mother, Harriett; brother, Steve (R61) and several nieces and nephews. William “Bill” Elias (L66) of Richland, WA, died July 5, 2011. Bill is survived by his three brothers, Clair, Thomas (L74) and Charles. Jean (Matus) Fee (L67) of Center Point-Urbana, IA died June 18, 2011. Jean is survived by her husband James; two sons, Christopher and Matthew; a grandson, Colton; and a brother, Jim.

Xavier Foundation

Elizabeth “Betty” Streff (R68), of Cedar Rapids died July 2, 2011. Betty is survived by her husband, David Sopousek; her sons, Nicholas Streff (L90), Jay Streff (L93), and Scott Streff; a daughter, Jenny Lewis; a sister, Patty Pfiffner; a brother, Bob Goheen; and her grandchildren, Mara Taylor, Colin, Anna, Isabel and Noah. Cynthia (Stark) Squires (R76) of Center Point, IA, died July 13, 2011. Cynthia is survived by her husband, Jeff; two sons, Jeremy and Andy; her mother, Lydia (Marvin) Stallman; two brothers, Thomas Stark (R78), and Charles Stark (R83); a sister, Sandy Stark; stepbrothers, Doug Stallman (R89), Martin Stallman (R91); and stepsister Elizabeth (Stallman) Lagerquist (R90). She was preceded in death by her father, Dr. Thomas Edward Stark. Christopher McLees (R83) of Cedar Rapids died May 24, 2011. Chris is survived by his parents, Tim and Carol McLees.

J. Paul Oetken (R84):

From H.S. Valedictorian to U.S. District Court J. Paul Oetken, is an American lawyer who has been confirmed by the United States Senate to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. [1] He was confirmed on July 18, 2011 in an 80–13 vote. Oetken was born in 1965 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was valedictorian and class president at Regis High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1988 from the University of Iowa and a law degree in 1991 from Yale Law School. From 1991 until 1992, Oetken served as a law clerk for Judge Richard Cudahy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and from 1992 until 1993, he served as a law clerk to Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. From 1993 until 1994, Oetken served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Harry Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court. On January 26, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Oetken to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to replace Judge Denny Chin, whom Obama previously appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Oetken had been recommended to the post by New York Senator Charles Schumer. (Photo credit: Blade photo by Michael Key)

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

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

Parents: If this issue of the Common Thread is addressed to your son or daughter who has established a permanent residence, please notify us of that new address. Call (319) 378-4571 or e-mail

Jody Ruff

Executive Director

Lynn Jump

Annual Fund Director

Jessica Schneider

Dir. Marketing & Alumni Relations p: 319.378.4571 f: 319.378.2953 e: w:

2012 Alumni Hall of Fame

Board of Directors

Nominate a deserving LaSalle, Regis, or Xavier Alum, teacher, coach, or supporter for the 2012 Alumni Hall of Fame today!


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

Tips For Writing Your Nomination:


• You may nominate qualified candidates throughout the year. Selections will be made in October 2011. The induction ceremony will take place Friday, February 3, 2012 during half-time of the girls basketball game against Linn-Mar.

Gary Becker Ellen Bouchard Michele Busse John Cleavenger Tom Hoffmann Tom Keating Dan Lynch Joe Schimberg Cynthia Sueppel

Board Emeritus Michael Stallman Gary Streit


• Members for consideration may not be self-nominated. • Candidates may be nominated posthumously. • Incomplete nominations will not be considered.

• If you nominated someone previously, you do not need to re-nominate that person, although you are welcome to provide new or additional information about your nominee. Nomination forms can be downloaded on the Foundation’s website at If you prefer to have a nomination form mailed to you, contact the Foundation at (319) 378-4571.

FALL 2011

Xavier Foundation Comon Thread  

September 2011

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