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Mission Drive Day

Mission Drive Day

Jesuit High School's annual Mission Drive was an amazing success, generating $18,689 – one of the highest totals in drive history –after the completion of Mission Drive Day on Friday (April 21)!

The campus was bustling with fundraising games and activities all morning Friday, as Jesuit students and faculty raised more money – an additional $6,300 – on the final day of the month-long Mission Drive through small fees associated with a cornucopia of games, activities, food sales, and various competitions, such as pickleball, bocce, and poker.

The generosity of the student body during weeks of homeroom collections exceeded the $10,000 Mission Drive fundraising goal before Friday’s activities even began. The homeroom of teacher Henry Ibanez '86 and Andy Wood '92 was the school's most generous again this year, collecting $989. And the $18,689 total raised is the highest since at least 2015.

Through food/drink sales during Mission Drive Day, the Environmental Club (moderator Vindri Gajadhar) raised $780, the highest earner on the day. The next biggest fundraisers were the SADD Club (moderator Lauren Maguire) spikeball tournament ($442); the Multi-Cultural Club food sales, led by Jesuit’s Spanish teachers ($439); Student Council’s grilling/food sales spearhead by Brian Kubiak ’23 and Nathan McGill ’23, and moderator Corey Perich ($430); teacher Nicholas Finch’s soccer tournament ($415); teacher Jason Lublin’s Super Smash Bros. video game tournament ($320); and theatre director Richard Miller's poker tournament ($300).

Wood, who is Jesuit's Director of Community Service, had established the $10,000 goal for Mission Drive 2023 at Convocation in March. Each year, the Mission Drive selects a new beneficiary, and this year the $18,689 raised will go toward St. John's College High School in Belize City, a Jesuit boys school that incurred damage from Hurricane Lisa and whose staff is in need of computers. (Last year's Mission Drive donated nearly $13,500 youth programs at St. Philip Benizi in Belle Glade in the Everglades.)

Mission Drive Day began in the Tiger Palace with a school-wide music concert before an enthusiastic student body. Music director Nina Wegmann led Jesuit's superlative musicians in an array of pop music selections such as "Hotel California" by The Eagles, "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi, and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen, as well as the theme from Mission: Impossible and the big band classic "Sing Sing Sing" popularized by The Benny Goodman Orchestra.

Among the winners of the various Mission Drive Day games and events on Friday was Ryan O’Sullivan ’23, who defeated Drew Campbell ’24 for the student ping-pong title and then knocked off Mr. Peter Bell, S.J. for the overall championship, 2 games to 1. Bell had defeated math teacher David O’Sullivan in the faculty championship match, thwarting the possibility of an all-O’Sullivan, father-son showdown for the all-school title. Andrew Koebbe ’23 survived some low chip counts to come from behind and win the Texas Hold ’Em poker tournament; Ben Burke ’26 and Shane Rupp ’26 won the 3-Point Contest; Griffin More 24 won the Italian Club’s eating contest, devouring 20 meatballs in 1 minute, 33 seconds in defeating eight challengers; and the student champion basketball team, led by seniors Troy Bowles, Joquez Smith, and Jarriett Buie, and coached by track & field standout Devin Stevens ’23, routed the faculty team to close out the day in the Tiger Palace.

Other winners included: Will Hoerbelt ’23 and Matthew Griffith ’23 (Can Jam); Team DeanDonnellys – Anthony Donnelly ’23, Gabe Brazzeal ’24, Will Starr ’23, and Dean Schroeder ’23 (Trivia); Carmine Sebastiano ’23 (Super Smash Bros.); and teachers Matt Kaiser and Miguel Menendez (Bocce). Coach Kaiser claims this is the 5th time he has earned the Beil-Menendez Trophy for winning the Bocce Tournament on Mission Drive Day.

The Mission Drive dates back to the 1930s at Jesuit, though Mission Drive Day was established early in the 21st century. One of the school's great annual traditions, the Mission Drive has been a means for Jesuit students across generations to help thousands of people in need. In recent years that has meant reaching children in need in locales such as Colombia, Nicaragua, and El Paso, Texas.

Click here to view a photo slideshow from Mission Drive Day.