Many might marvel why somebody would board a airplane from Tampa to New York in mid-March simply days after a big storm from snow blew in the course of the northeast. For the president and team of workers at Saint Leo College it used to be a very simple choice.
Many would possibly not notice the lengthy historical past between better New York and Saint Leo College in Tampa Bay. For many years an excessively massive contingent of New York highschool seniors have selected Saint Leo as their subsequent step and school of selection. There’s a robust catholic pull to a spot the place the Benedictine values are very a lot alive and practiced in day-to-day campus existence. There’s, after all, the considered winters the place the common temperature is 70 levels! There’s the pull of a robust NCAA Department II athletic program. And as one alum put it, “it is just two and a part hours from house…via airplane!”
Irrespective of why they got here, many returned after commencement to New York to construct their lives, careers and households. The end result is a robust alumni team that enjoys getting in combination and supporting the college.
So what higher tournament to rally round than the premier St. Patrick’s Day parade on this planet – New York!
Our festivities started the night time sooner than with a standard Irish dinner on the Pig n Whistle simply off Occasions Sq.. The sold-out collecting featured corn pork, cabbage, potatoes and the specified “drinks” to heat the hearts of all attending. From the youngest graduates final spring to these celebrating 50 years or extra since commencement the room used to be full of laughter and fellowship. Without a doubt most sensible of thoughts used to be our likelihood to march up 5th Road tomorrow. The anticipation used to be so nice that even the controversy of a chilly day used to be temporarily disregarded.
On “the massive day” the Saint Leo College contingent dutifully assembled within the appointed spot and, whilst onerous to imagine, the grins and laughter have been more than the former night time. As marching bands and bagpipers started to heat up, flocks of firefighters handed and Saint Leo College sashes have been dispensed the anticipation grew. As our block started to transport towards the giant flip onto 5th Road the rows shaped up and the grins slightly concealed the delight every individual felt in representing the college at this kind of prestigious tournament.
5th Road used to be filled with crowds that have been cheering us on and satisfied to turn that New York is a town that is aware of have a good time St. Patrick’s Day. Alongside the course we heard calls from those that knew Saint Leo and won our loudest fortify from those that learned many people made the trek from sunny Florida to be with them in this instance. All of that fortify made it really feel like we may have long past some other hundred blocks and a few in our team (the more youthful ones) lamented when the parade course ended.
After the parade we made our option to some other native status quo and spent a while in fellowship with New York’s police and firefighters. They constitute the most productive of town and it used to be a super option to finish an excessively special occasion.
God bless the committee for an important day. The town must be happy with a partnership that makes all of it imaginable. And the cheering crowds allowed even the local Floridians amongst us to really feel heat and welcome on a cold day.
Our unhappiness got here simplest in realizing we’ll wish to wait 12 lengthy months till March 17, 2018!
Denny Moller is vice chairman for Development & Communications at Saint Leo College in Tampa Bay, Florida.