03 December 2012

Launching a fundraiser for the Peter Gelinas Memorial Scholarship

Fundraiser: Peter Gelinas Memorial Scholarship

Organized by the Xavier High School Class of 1986


The Xavier High School community and Madison, CT suffered a painful and shocking loss in the death of Peter Gelinas during the attacks of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Peter’s death was both sudden and senseless.   In the wake of 9/11, Peter, like many who perished, left behind a loving spouse, and two young sons. Peter represented all the best characteristics in a young man.  He was an enthusiastic, proactive, and positive member of his community. He always included others in the fun, and he stuck up for the most vulnerable members of our community who needed help. We remember him from our shared time at Xavier High School as a friend and teammate, an exemplary scholar-athlete who shined as the captain of the football team. Peter went on to higher education at Villanova and success in the Manhattan firm Cantor & Fitzgerald.

Since 2001, many of us have participated in remembrance ceremonies for Peter and other victims of the 9/11 attacks. There is a bench dedicated to him along the shoreline at the Surf Club, and a memorial plaque with his yearbook picture outside the doors of the Xavier Chapel.  In any city with a 9/11 memorial you can touch the letters of his name where he is listed with so many others and remember the man who is no longer with us.

While we all remember Peter in our own private way, especially when a new anniversary of 9/11 comes and goes, we classmates of his have set out to honor his memory in an living and breathing manner.  We are establishing a memorial scholarship at Xavier High School in Peter's honor. Creating a recurring gift of a partial scholarship requires a minimum endowment of $25,000. The more we raise the more support we can provide to a deserving incoming freshman every year.   After a short campaign, we are happy to report that we have already received pledges in excess of $10,000 from a core cadre of alumni and Peter’s teachers who remain at Xavier.

Our deadline to make the Peter Gelinas Memorial Scholarship a reality for the next incoming class is June 30, 2013. Peter is an important facet of the Xavier community and he has even deeper roots in his hometown Madison where many friends remember him with fondness. As the calendar year of 2012 comes to a close, please consider making a contribution to this worthy effort.  Your contribution is tax-deductible as well so please take that into consideration prior January 1st.

With your financial support of any amount within family budget, this idea, started by a few of Peter’s friends will become a recurring scholarship for students who need not only financial assistance, but also nurturing of the characteristics that personified Peter. If you have any questions about the scholarship, please contact me, Chris Coppola, or Matt Strekel ’99, Director of Advancement at Xavier High School at (860) 347-6079 or mstrekel@xavierhighschool.org .



Warmest regards to you and your families during this Holiday season!




Christopher Coppola

237 Sunbury Rd. Danville, PA 17821



Online giving via: www.xavierhighschool.org/give


Donations by check to: “Xavier High School” with “Peter Gelinas Scholarship” on memo line

and mailed to:


Peter Gelinas Scholarship,   c/o

Matthew Strekel, Director of Advancement Xavier High School

181 Randolph Road

Middletown, CT 06457

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