We are so honored to be here tonight to present this scholarship to these two wonderful recipients. As most of you know, Jimmy was taken from us tragically and much too soon. Our lives will never be the same. As we struggled with living our lives without him, we searched for ways to keep his memory alive. We thought about what meant the most to him and how he would want to be remembered. His family and his friends were what he treasured most in this world. We obviously are his immediate family and to us he was a huge presence, an enormous part of our lives. His friends, however, most especially those from here at Albertus, became his extended family. Those, who despite time, distance and life circumstances, he would greet with the most sincere hug and the most genuine smile. He never failed to tell us which of his Albertus friends he had run into and what exactly was going on in their lives. He loved those encounters, by chance or planned, he loved his Albertus “family”. He treasured the time he spent here, the memories he made and the friendships he established.
Jimmy was an amazing son, brother, uncle and best friend. You should know, however, that he never thought the way he lived his life was anything “special”. He lived his life the way he thought everyone should live their lives. His family and friends meant the world to him and he did everything he could to make us feel that. He felt and often said that he felt like he lived a “charmed life”. He felt very lucky, very blessed. He truly believed and would tell anyone who would listen that he had the best family, the best friends, the best life. In feeling that way, he truly felt he needed to be the biggest presence he could be in our lives and the lives of his friends. He lived his life in the only way he could imagine, with a big smile, involved, interested and thoroughly loving every minute of it.
It is in this spirit that we have established this scholarship in Jimmy’s memory. Please live that charmed life. Be involved and interested. Treasure your family and friends. Greet those you love with a big smile and a huge hug. Know that your family and your friends from Albertus will be standing beside you for many years to come.