At tree planting, grads remember friends

St. Benedict’s class of 1978 celebrated their 30th anniversary at the school on June 14. They joined the class of 1977 in remembering their fellow students who’ve since died by planting a Japanese Maple in their name in the school’s front lawn. - Photo courtesy of Donna Miller

The St. Benedict’s graduates of 1977 and 1978 joined together on June 14, for a bittersweet reunion of celebration and remembrance in their old school auditorium.

 “We were a close knit group. The two years really knew each other,” 1978 grad Donna Miller said.

A power point presentation, accompanied by their favorite 1970s hits, awarded the group a trip down memory lane.

“It was a little overwhelming to go back after so many years,” Miller explained. “It was just a feeling of being born and raised in the Bronx and how you don’t forget things.”

While the journey was an exciting recall of the past, it also brought deep sadness to the classes as they remembered seven students who’ve passed away over the years.

Jon Carlo, a 1978 graduate, thought of his good friend and St. Benedict’s classmate Edward Barry, who was killed tragically in a car accident in September of 1981.

Having grown up and attended Monsignor Scanlan High School together, Carlo said it was difficult to celebrate without his friend. “He was a good guy,” he said.

Miller said in honor of the deceased, the classes planted a Japanese Maple in the school’s front lawn, 1016 Edison Avenue, where a plaque proudly remembers class of 1977 graduates James Carr, Nicholas Cuccinello, James Gramble and Michael Zerbo, and 1978 grads Edward Barry, Joseph Mitchell and Anthony Velella.

Using this memory from the past, Miller said she wants to look toward the future and increase the school’s involvement with past graduates by beginning a St. Benedict’s Alumni Association.

Having recently heard of the school’s need for electrical improvements, she said the group could provide a needed source of funding to the institution that’s added so much to the community over the years.

Those interested in helping create a St. Benedict’s Alumni Association, please contact Miller at (917) 754-1025.

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