CRSM Dons Finery for Record-breaking Founders’ Dinner

Cristo Rey St. Martin (CRSM) celebrated the ribbon cutting for the initial phase of its new home, thanking the community of supporters for their ongoing help at the annual Founders’ Dinner, April 21, 2018, held at the new building.

The record-breaking crowd of almost 350 guests raised $765,000, which will help us continue our promise to create bright futures for all our students in years to come. The funds raised will go toward the annual operational needs of providing this college prep education to the students, who all come from families with limited economic means. The new campus, a former Kmart at 3106 Belvidere Road, has been transformed into a gateway of hope for the City of Waukegan.

“Thank you for being here tonight, and even more importantly, thank you for being founders of our school,” said Preston Kendall, president of CRSM. “As founders, we create opportunities. This is just the beginning. Future phases for the school complex include a gymnasium, faith center, space for the arts, and several other enrichment opportunities. Tonight, we thank you for helping us turn the vision of a new campus into a reality, but more importantly, for giving our students the opportunity to dream and to work towards those dreams. Let’s celebrate Cristo Rey’s new home; a cornerstone on which our students and community are building a brighter future for themselves, their families, the community and our world.”

The event also celebrated Mike Odiotti PhD, principal, for 10 years of leadership. “We celebrate Mike’s passion and perseverance,” said Kendall. “CRSM would not exist today without his hard work. Thank you Mike for your vision and grit.”

The life-changing Cristo Rey experience was summed up by the featured speaker, Octavio Adrian Brindis, a Gates Millennium Scholar and Valedictorian of the Class of 2010, who next fall is headed to Columbia University in New York to pursue a doctoral degree in education.

“I am very blessed to be here surrounded by so many people who have made an impact in my life,” said Brindis. “My elementary and middle school teachers didn’t really talk about college as an opportunity for me. Standing in this building today really makes me think of the larger impact “Mr. O” (principal Mike Odiotti) and CRSM has had on my life and the life of others, including my two younger sisters who are currently attending CRSM and my brother who graduated from here too. Thank you!”

Sponsors of the Founders’ Dinner included: Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company, Bob and Joanie Reynolds, Abbott, Baird, Charles W. & Patricia S. Bidwill Charitable Foundation, Kirkland & Ellis, Joe Nemmers Jr. & Kathy Abel Reinke, Walgreens Boots Alliance, AbbVie, Anixter, Big Shoulders Fund, Discover Financial Services, Grainger, Andy & Lynn Kopon, MacLean-Fogg, Mark & Anita Prince, the Rosenbloom Family, Stephen & Kathryn Butzlaff, Society of Holy Child Jesus and UL (Underwriters Laboratories).