Column: It’s a wonderful life — with your help

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at:

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at:

by Michael Morrisey

Summer has ended and school has started. I hope summer vacation was good for you and yours. During the summer, many of us frequent the movie theaters. You know, “Let’s all go to the movies.”

Speaking of movies, CEF is in the middle of a production I am calling “It’s a Wonderful Life 2.”

Many of you with vintage have seen the original “It’s a Wonderful Life.” If you haven’t seen it, you need to do so. It is an awesome holiday movie — one of my favorites (no vintage here). The holidays aren’t that far away.

The plot of the original movie is that the leading man (George Bailey) has come on hard times and needs help. A rather unique angel (Clarence) comes down from heaven to help struggling George find his way. It depicts the importance of helping others, and the ending to the movie is just heavenly. Got it?

So now let’s fast forward to the CEF soon-to-be box-office hit. The cast consists of many leading young men and women. They are students currently in our CEF schools and receiving scholarship assistance (1,363). Or they are children not in our schools (395) because they don’t have the means to allow them that opportunity.

Our movie has multiple angels with their own unique backgrounds. Our hopes are to appeal to a larger audience. Box-office draw is important, you know. We have angels Mark and Lisa Ledom, Pat and Mel McAnany, and Marcia and Nelson Newcomer. These three families are this year’s Gaudeamus dinner “Angels Among Us” honorees. They are receiving this award because of their support of the Catholic Education Foundation and their efforts to help less fortunate kids attend our Catholic schools.

They truly understand the importance of a Catholic education. They understand that a Catholic education is a means to an end. The end is heaven, the ultimate wonderful life! George Bailey would be proud!!

In addition, we have another group of angels we are also recognizing for their service to our Catholic schools: Catholic school educators. These individuals are with our students day in and day out and work hard to create a classroom environment that is nothing short of heavenly. Just like Clarence in the movie, they are the front- line angels and work hard to mentor our students to become disciples of Christ.

So, how does “It’s a Wonderful Life 2” end, you ask?

This is just a preview — a trailer. You have to come to this year’s Gaudeamus dinner on Oct. 24 to see how our angels do. I can assure you that the angels’ bells will be ringing. It will be an experience that you will never forget!!!

For more information on this year’s Gaudeamus dinner, go online to:, or call (913) 647-0344.

About the author

Michael Morrisey

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