Cardinal Dougherty High School closed in 2010, but the Cards Soar at the Shore reunion continues to be a popular summer event for graduates and other friends of the school.
Alumni gathered at the 16th annual reunion this summer at Keenan’s Irish Pub in North Wildwood, N.J. When Dougherty was open, proceeds went to the school. Now that the school is closed, all the money raised was targeted to Dougherty-related charities.
“The Dougherty alumni are around, and we help each other out,” said Mike Prendergast, a 1969 Dougherty graduate and head of the committee that organizes the annual gathering.
Prendergast and the committee invited the recipients of this year’s proceeds to dinner on Aug. 28 at Tony’s Place in Mayfair. There, $1,000 checks were handed out to the following charities:
• Amigos de Jesus, an orphanage in Honduras operated by, among others, the Rev. Denny O’Donnell, a 1965 Dougherty graduate.
• Bridget (Williams) Kreckman and her three young children. Paul and Bridget Kreckman graduated from Dougherty in 1993. Paul died recently at age 37 of cystic fibrosis.
• The Robyn Higgins Appeal. Robyn, 10, flies from London to receive treatments for neuroblastoma at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Tom Hoban, a 1969 Dougherty graduate involved in Irish-American causes, is a close friend of the Higgins family.
• Firefighter Dan Sweeney Scholarship Fund, which provides money to children to receive a Catholic education. Sweeney was a Bishop McDevitt graduate. His mom, Marian, graduated from Dougherty in 1972 and was a teacher there.
• Colleen Rossiter Scholarship Fund, which offers assistance to families in need and those who send their children to Catholic schools. Rossiter, who died of cancer, was a 2002 Dougherty graduate.
• Save Wildwood Catholic High School Fund. On Jan. 5, 2010, the Diocese of Camden announced the school would close if it could not raise $200,000 by March 7 of that year. A committee raised $300,000, and the school remains open. When the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced in October 2009 that Dougherty and North Catholic would close in June 2010, it did not give alumni a chance to save the schools.
• The Mark Keeley Memorial Fund, in memory of a 2009 Dougherty graduate who was killed in a Tacony explosion in January 2011 while working for Philadelphia Gas Works. The money will go to the much-needed renovation of the gym at St. Cecilia, where Keeley played and coached CYO sports.The 17th annual Cards Soar at the Shore will take place on July 20, 2013 at Keenan’s. ••EndFragment