With the conclusion of the CYO Meet of Champions, the Track and Field finale in May, we turned our attention toward the annual CYO Appreciation Dinner at the University of Portland. This event is CYO/Camp Howard’s opportunity to thank a few of the hundreds of volunteers who make the organization operate each year. Over the next few days we will take a look at those who were honored….beginning with our Hall of Fame inductee, Mr. Joseph Weston!
From the script May 22, 2018 at the University of Portland:
“Mr. Joseph Weston We are truly blessed this evening to have in our gathering, a man who has worked hard all his life and as a result has been able to bless countless others in a multitude of ways.
Mr. Joseph Weston, a product of All Saints School and Central Catholic High School in Portland, gives millions of dollars each year in tuition assistance, endowments and matching grants through the Weston Foundation. He was recognized nationally with the Elizbeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Educational Association at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in October of 2017. This award is presented each year to someone whose support and service impacts Catholic education and the well-being of the nation’s youth.
If you Google Mr. Joseph Weston, Portland, you come up with some really great articles about him that I find valuable to read because you can pick up some nuggets of wisdom. I would like to share a few of his quotes:
- Act before year’s end to donate as much as $100,000 from a 401(k) to a non-profit with zero tax liability. (What that means is that you could donate 100,000 to CYO/Camp Howard and not take a tax hit!)
- Resist being tempted by banks to take out home equity loans. The free and clear house can be a mainstay of inheritance, helping families pay for education or begin their own philanthropy.
- Catholic schools must set up legal endowments. “Talk to alumni and give them a guilt trip to some extent. Tell them they can do estate planning. You just have to make people aware they are successful because of their education. When you are successful, you’ve got to remember your [grade and high] school.”
- Save for retirement and have an emergency fund if something goes awry. But everyone can get into the habit of giving to good causes, even if it’s small at first. Weston calls himself an example of how good it can feel to give.
Weston has a heart for the working poor, the ones who have trouble making ends meet. If he can help a family like that send someone to a Catholic school, that’s a fine day’s work in his mind.
Mr. Joseph Weston has been a friend of CYO/Camp Howard for many years. Mr. Weston was the sponsor of our original CITY basketball tournament over twenty-five years ago and that is how I first came to know him.
Most recently, in December of 2015, Henry Fitzgibbon, past CYO/CH board member and chosen architect for Mary’s Lodge the new dining hall at camp, and I went to visit Mr. Weston. He didn’t know it at the time, but he would make the decision as to whether we built the lodge or not. We needed a good strong lead gift upon which to anchor our campaign. As we sat down at the table, I pulled out my list of “what when where and how” and carefully went through it. As I finished, Henry told me Mr. Weston winked at him with a kindly twinkle in his eye as he turned his head toward me and said, “Yes!”
That day set a course at CYO/Camp Howard that has not stopped. People did jump on board to help us with the dining hall. If Mr. Weston was behind it, it seemed like a solid plan to them. I know of at least one person who called Mr. Weston directly to see if we were a safe bet!
Mr. Weston we would like to honor you by inducting you into our Hall of Fame this evening. You have made an extraordinary impact on Catholic institutions in the greater Portland area and we consider ourselves especially fortunate to be counted among your friends.
Sister Krista: Give Mr. Weston a Hall of Fame Award!