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Tony's Speech - 2007

Good morning, my name is Tony Angelette and I graduated from Jesuit High School in 1983. I’m here today to talk to you about the Thanksgiving Turkey Drive. I gave this speech about six years ago. I was going to give the same speech that I gave back then, but a lot has happened in the last couple of years that has had a wide impact on our city. Of course, I’m talking about Katrina and Rita and their aftermath. I’m an attorney and I do a lot of trial work. I’m in court everyday of the work week and I’ve seen a lot of the way the storms and their aftermath have affected people. I’ve seen good people that have done bad things. I’ve seen veteran judges sit on the bench in a state of uncertainty, because they were unsure of what to do in certain situations. There are families in positions wherein $100 made the difference between life going on and being out on the street. Among all of these people there have been some common threads. All of these people have come to know the true meaning of words like: LOSS, FRUSTRATION and Despair.

As I said, I had in the past been charged with giving this speech and I had put together some thoughts. As I read through those old notes, I realized that what I felt and said back then, holds even truer now so I’m going to share some of those thoughts with you too.

When you are asked to participate in the Turkey drive, You might ask yourself, “Why should I go out of my way to participate?” or “Why do we do it at all?”

Well, I’ll tell you. While I was attending Jesuit High School, I wasn’t a stand out student. I didn’t play any sports or excel in the field of academics. After I graduated from Jesuit, I went to College at South Eastern and then to Loyola Law School.

Well, I’ve been practicing law for a while now and I’ve come to realize that I could have gone to any college or law school and still ended up where I am today. The one thing that did make a difference was what I gained in the years that I spent at Jesuit High School. In addition to the education that I got here, Jesuit also taught me compassion, and a sense of responsibility.

Now you may think that you are just students at this school. Well you are, but you are also something more. You are also a part of the Jesuit family, a part of the Jesuit ideal.

When I left this school, I was a better person than I was when I first got here. What I learned here has served me better than everything I’ve learned since I left Jesuit. This is the service that this school has done for me. This is a service that Jesuit will also provide to each and every one of you as well; and why does Jesuit provide this service. Because, it too is a part of the Jesuit Ideal. The Ideal that I’m talking about is the goal that Jesuit is forever striving for; and that is to make a difference for the better.

Making a difference may, at times, seem like an unattainable goal, so you might ask yourself why even try? Well, the answer to that can be reduced to four letters. A M D G, as I’m sure you’re all aware that those letters stands for Jesuit’s motto ad majorem dei glorium; “for the greater glory of God” which pretty much sums up the motivation behind all of Jesuit’s endeavors.

As I said before, you are all a part of the Jesuit Ideal and being a part of this Jesuit Ideal puts you in somewhat of a position of power. Each of you now has the power to make a difference in the lives of a family that you probably don’t even know. You have the power to make a difference in someone else’s life. You have the power to make one day in the lives of a family that you don’t even know better than it would have been without you.

You are a part of an Ideal, but now you have to ask yourself, “do I believe in the ideal that Jesuit stands for; and if so are you satisfied with just being a recipient of the benefits of that Ideal or do you want to be a part of furthering that ideal. Do you want to make a difference?
Now I know that all of you will want to be a part of making a difference and how do I know this? Because you aren’t just men, you’re Jesuit men.

I want each and every one of you to take it upon yourselves to see that this year’s Thanksgiving Turkey Drive is a success. All you need to do is go home and raid the pantry. Bring in those canned goods and when you think about it, remind your friends to do the same.

I’m proud to say that I went to Jesuit High School and I’m sure that you’re proud to be here. When I tell someone that I graduated from Jesuit they are impressed. They’re impressed because Jesuit is a great school. This is your chance to make a difference. This is your chance to be a part of what it is that makes Jesuit great.

Remember, you’re getting a lot out your time here. This is your chance to give a little back. You’re not doing it for thanks; you’re not doing it for a pat on the back. You’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do, you’re doing it for the greater glory of God.

Class of 83 Thanksgiving Drive -> Project 83

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