by Joe Flores –

I really wanted to get involved with Becky’s Warriors because of my grandparents, Joe and Marilyn Quill.

They were the best grandparents that anybody could ask for and I am truly blessed for having them play such an important part of my life. They both, however, unfortunately dealt with cancer in two different forms, lymphoma and leukemia, and I saw firsthand how devastating a cancer diagnosis could be.

Because of my grandparents, I decided to attend Marian and that experience had a lasting impact on me. Most of my friends today, I met while attending Marian; Becky was one of those friends. I remember meeting Becky early during sophomore year. We both had history class with Mr. Mendenhall and I remember quickly bonding with her because of my friendship with her older sister, Amy. Throughout high school and after my time at Marian, I remained friends with Becky, Amy and the entire Eaton family.

For the past couple of years, I have been searching for a philanthropic cause to rally behind. I had been engaged in a couple of ventures, but nothing really struck a chord in a meaningful way. After putting things into perspective with my grandparents both having cancer and Becky’s experience, I finally felt a calling that I could get behind and champion that cause: helping affiliated Marian Catholic families who are dealing with cancer.

Our vision for collaborating with Marian

Our mission is to help those in financial need who have been affected by a cancer diagnosis and has a tie to Marian Catholic. This could be a current student and/or their immediate family, a Marian alumnus, or faculty member.

When I spoke to Mr. Tortorello in September, he couldn’t have been more encouraging and was eager to offer up his support. He immediately thought of an opportunity through a breast cancer awareness T-shirt fundraiser at Marian and it ended up raising over $5,000 in October. We talked about other ways that we might be able to partner together in the future and there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for alumni, teachers, faculty, and students to get involved.

One example we considered was for the juniors and seniors who may be filling out college applications in the near future. Philanthropic activities are highly regarded from a college admissions standpoint and we thought that Becky’s Warriors could be a great avenue for students that are looking to enhance their résumé.

Another example would be for recent college graduates who are looking for networking opportunities in the greater Chicagoland area. Many members of the Becky’s Warriors team who have been involved up to this point have professional ties in various industries including education, information technology, finance, marketing, and health and wellness. This could be a great avenue for a young professional to expand his/her network of influence and leverage the great MCHS alumni network in a different capacity.

From a fundraising standpoint, our primary fundraiser will continue to be the Becky’s Warriors Golf Outing (Broken Arrow Golf Club in Lockport on June 17, 2016). We are also talking about hosting a 5K run/walk in the fall of 2016, as well as a trivia night or some type of event in the city to tap a wide variety of alumni.

Of course, being a 501(c)(3) charitable organization allows for ongoing tax-deductible donations throughout the year. You can make a donation right from the website.

As we continue to brainstorm, we are excited about the future partnership between Becky’s Warriors and Marian Catholic High School!