On September 11, 2001, Pat Zampieri of Saddle River lost her son, Robbie, in the New York City World Trade Center terrorist attack. She and her entire family were changed forever.
On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, Pat delivered a speech at the St. Anthony Women’s Guild Luncheon, benefiting St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. This was not just any speech. It had nearly 200 pairs of eyes welling with tears and riveted to the podium. We refer to it as “Friar Inspiration”. Pat talked about how her world had all but ended and then, she found some relief when she urged her husband, Dr. Robert Zampieri, to host a benefit golf tournament in Robbie’s memory, and in support of the little school that was in jeopardy of closing. The school is located in Jersey City. Robbie lived in Jersey City.
Pat went on to tell the crowd of 200 women how, beginning with four consecutive benefit golf outings at the Knickerbocker Country Club, the Zampieri family raised $1 million for St. Anthony High School, and since that time, every year, friends continue to donate to Robbie’s fund. She talked about the girls and boys of St. Anthony’s, fondly and appropriately named Zampieri Scholars. Pat shared the experience of changing the lives of young people in need, and of the joy they brought her and her family in return. Each year, she and her family gather together with them at a dinner and have a “reunion.” She concluded by telling everyone that although nothing could ever completely dispel the horrors of that fated September day, she and her family found meaning through the gift of education in Robbie’s name.
After Pat’s address, the Women’s Guild Chairperson welcomed best-selling author Adriana Trigiani as the keynote speaker for the annual fundraiser held at the Maplewood Country Club. Ms. Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her hilarious and heartwarming novels. Critics from the Washington Post to the New York Times and People magazine have described Adriana’s novels as “tiramisu for the soul”, “sophisticated and wise” and “dazzling”.
Adriana began by directing a comment to Pat about how beautiful and meaningful it was that Pat and her family had found a way to channel their pain. She then did what Adriana does best: she delivered a keynote address that brought the house down! Her conversation was about her Italian family, its heritage, its quirks, its strengths and its challenges. Adriana is a gifted writer and speaker. Each of the women in the room related to her fond memories of her sisters, her aunts and uncles and her grandparents. Adriana not only donated her time to the school, but also gave the gift of laughter that afternoon at the Maplewood Country Club.
With the support of underwriting sponsors Wells Fargo and the Felician Sisters of North America, over 180 women from across the region bonded through tears of sadness and joy. The female students provided live musical entertainment and the room was filled with lovely auction prizes. In its fourth year, this event has tripled in attendance and in money raised in support of the school. The Women’s Guild, in its fifth year has done an outstanding job of creating a network of women dedicated to the Friar mission – that is, to provide quality education at an affordable cost, to those in need.
The Women’s Guild also sponsors an Annual Career Day for Girls at the school and has ensured two slots for girls at the June Girls Career Institute held at Douglass College for Women on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus.
Miracles happen every day at Saint Anthony High School. They have been for more than sixty years. For more information on the Women’s Guild, the school, or to pledge your support for education, contact the school by phone: 201-653-5739 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be a part of the miracle of Saint Anthony.