Joseph Laviano, Class of 1987 | June 15, 2014
What a fantastic weekend for everyone lucky enough to be a Namer. It’s difficult to say how many attended but we estimate 800 to 1,000 people came back home to Holy Name High School last weekend to celebrate the Centennial of our beloved institution.
The weekend started Friday night with the All-Alumni Reunion that was held in Kenneally Gym. Over 300 Holy Name Alumni danced the night away and reminisced about their time at Holy Name.
Saturday was a very busy day. The day started with hundreds participating in the HN Fun Run. One Namer decided that the Fun Run was not good enough. Class of 1974’s Mike Piszczor walked an estimated 13 miles to deliver a letter from Rev. Msgr. Richard Antall of Holy Name Parish in Cleveland, the original site of Holy Name High School, to Holy Name High School’s current location in Parma Heights.
NamerFest officially started with the unveiling of Holy Name High School’s Ohio Historical Marker. The ceremony was attended by countless generations of Namers. The Marker impressively stands tall at the entrance of the Parma Hts. campus’s main entrance walkway. The Marker became the centerpiece of hundreds of family photos throughout the day. The ceremony was full of some very memorable moments including a beautiful rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner and Alma Mater performed by Jennifer DiGeronimo ’15, and inspiring words by the Rev. John Carlin, Pastor of St. Charles of Borromeo in Parma, Advisory Board President Dr. Brian Adams, HN President Ben Farmer, and Parma Hts. Mayor Michael Byrne.
The back parking lot became the NamerFest’s main stage for the remainder of the day. The Liverpool Lads and Cleveland’s Breakfast Club featuring the Class of 1984’s Brain Dossa kept our toes tapping with awesome tunes. The Nosh Box, StrEat Mobile Bistro, Fired up Taco and Honey Hut provided delicious treats from their food trucks. HN students and volunteers entertained children with face painting and games. The day concluded with an outdoor mass featuring a memorable homily from Holy Name graduate the Rev. Damian Ference ’94.
The past couple years have presented a wild ride for all those involved in planning this event, and we all wanted to achieve the goal of bringing alumni back to the place that made so many memories for so many us. As I reflect back on the weekend and watched the planned events unfold, I realized something happened that was not on any of the agendas, advertisements, or social media posts, and was not mentioned at any of the planning meetings. I realized that Holy Name of Cleveland and Holy Name of Parma Heights became one in one glorious weekend. It was no longer the buildings, there was no longer two different schools. We all stood together and celebrated, as Holy Name, as Namers, as Namer Nation. There were so many moments where I noticed Namers of different generations, separated by decades sharing their memories of how Holy Name is etched forever in their hearts. NamerFest took on its own agenda and made Namer Nation one.
Special thanks to Colleen Corrigan Day ’88, Mark Priebe ’88, Mike Nowak ’74, Ray Murphy. Your leadership, dedication and commitment to this event was priceless. Also a big thank you goes out to our committee chairs, especially Kate McCall ’05 who organized all the hard working volunteers and to the HN Maintenance Staff who went above and beyond their duties to help things run smoothly.