May 2, 2016
Happy Spring! Hope you are staying warm (or cool!) wherever you are. The weather in Maspeth has mostly been cold and rainy, but we are seeing some glimpses of spring. The school year is slowly coming to an end, which means a new crop of graduates being sent out into the world. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for end-of-year exams and celebrations.
At our annual Winter Gala, the Martin Luther family celebrated the dedication and achievements of four amazing Servants in the Kingdom! During a wonderful evening at Douglaston Manor, we presented the Servant of Christ Awards to Dr. Viji George, President of Concordia College; Rev. Dr. Joshua Hollmann, Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, Woodside and Assistant Professor and Theology Department Chair at Concordia College; Rev. Dr. Dien Taylor, Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bronx and First Vice-President of the Atlantic District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. We also presented the Schott in the Arm award to Jessica Hinsch Raba, Executive Director of the Lutheran Schools Association. Martin Luther School celebrates each of these individuals for their faithful, dedicated and selfless support and service to Christ and His church, and for their witness to Christ in word and deed. We pray for God’s continued blessings on their ministries!
Celebrate Kids Auction
April 23 the annual Celebrate Kids Auction was held in the gym. This years theme, America the Beautiful! Celebrating 100 Years of National Parks, featured the hard work of our faculty and students, beautiful centerpieces from Lou Bekios (ML Class of '83) at Grand Florist, and Teddy Roosevelt as our auctioneer! This year's appeal raised funds for our Tuesday Cougar Club Hour, an hour dedicated during the day to extra-curricular activities in which students might not otherwise be able to participate. Thanks to all who attended, volunteered, or donated to this worthy cause!
Featured Alum: Tom Chaves, ML Class of '81
After graduation from Martin Luther, Tom attended Albright College in Reading PA, graduating in 1985. His career path began as a computer programmer at AT&T and moved on to be the Director of Annual Giving at Albright College, leading fundraising initiatives and overseeing a computer conversion.
In 1990, Tom became a consultant for SCT (Systems & Computer Technology), now known as Ellucian, where he spent 17 years in varying roles assisting higher education institutions in using and managing systems and data.
Since 2008, Tom has held the position of Associate Vice President of Advancement at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, where he is responsible for all information management that supports the alumni and fundraising operations.
Tom is married and lives with his wife, Terry Lynn, in Norristown, PA. He is proud grandpa to Finley (3.5) and Reid (9 months), children of daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, Seth. All of Tom’s brothers and sisters who went to MLS are doing well with their families. Tom’s mother is currently living in Florida, but, sadly, his father passed away in 2014.
Tom is an avid runner— achieving a goal of running a marathon in each state. He completed his last state marathon in 2014 in Maui, Hawaii where his wife and 12 other running friends were there to celebrate. Overall, Tom has completed an impressive 100 marathons in total! In between marathons, Tom loves to listen to music, read, watch movies, and cheer on the N.Y. Mets! He was ecstatic, when much to everyone's surprise, they went to the 2015 World Series. Great expectations for 2016!
Over the years, Tom has stayed in touch with ML friends on Facebook and some in person. In fall of 2015 he had a great time getting together with Chris Brown, David Turner, and David Cole in Indianapolis to see David Turner's son play one of his first NBA games.
Favorite memory or event from MLS: “Great times and memories on the many friends made! Basketball games, Cross-Country meets are tops on my mind. I also remember the musical Bye Bye Birdie that I was privileged to play the role of Albert, alongside Mary Delano '84 who played Rosie, David Link who played the father, Laura Bellafiorie who played the young girl enamored with Conrad Birdie, Paul Vernet who played Conrad Birdie and Linda Wolf who played my mom (I went to elementary school with Linda as well!). Doug Fox was the director. I remember being taught how to dance the scene of “Put on a Happy Face” but couldn't remember a step on opening night so I improvised!”