Each year, golfers at Saint Viator’s Million Dollar Classic take aim at enhancing the school’s athletic programs and empowering its student-athletes. This year, they had a lot to celebrate, with the baseball team playing in the state semi-final, the lacrosse team reaching the final four, and a state champion in girls’ track and a state finalist in boys’ track.
And that only covers some of the spring sports.
Yes, it was a historic year for Saint Viator athletics, and guests at the 21st annual Million Dollar enthusiastically mingled with the student-athletes on hand at the acclaimed Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Wynstone Golf Club in North Barrington.
The one athlete chosen to address the crowd only underscored the outing’s success.
Senior Cole Kmet ’17 spoke to golfers, just 10 days after helping advance Saint Viator’s baseball team to fourth place in the state, and two days after attending Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion Camp, held for top high school football recruits.
Kmet described working with Saint Viator’s strength and conditioning coach, Rich McLoughlin ’10 in the Murphy Wellness Center — both of which have benefitted from Million Dollar Classic proceeds — and how it helped him become the athlete he is today.
“When I was a freshman, I was able to deadlift 225 pounds. Now I can deadlift 500 pounds,” Kmet told an astonished crowd. “I’ve become bigger, faster and stronger, and I credit that to all the strength and conditioning work I’ve done in the Wellness Center. I’m down there every morning.”
Varsity baseball coach and assistant athletic director, Mike Manno ’94, also spoke to the crowd about his team’s historic season and how it was made possible by the support from the Saint Viator community and, specifically, funds raised from the event.
“This year, the baseball program was a great example of Saint Viator athletics,” he said. “This team represents each of our other 27 programs, and like each program, this team would not be successful without the Million Dollar Classic.”
Funds raised from this year’s event will continue to support the conditioning initiative, adding more strength and fitness machines at the Murphy Wellness Center, and will be used to purchase a new van to transport players and coaches to off-campus practices and away matches.
“I can tell you, and I’m sure all the other coaches can tell you this, when we get to travel with our kids in the van, it’s not just about traveling to the games. We get to know our athletes and I’m sure they can share a lot of different funny stories with you as well,” Manno said. “We use the word family. We get time to talk about things that are important, not just athletics.”
As the event wrapped up, the event’s hosts and longtime supporters of Saint Viator athletics, Dan and JoAnn Murphy, presented awards to the winning foursomes:
3rd Place – Dan and JoAnn Murphy and Connie Antoniou and Randall Thompson
2nd Place – Mike and Jamie Boler, and Tim and Jill Carlson
1st Place – Scott Beck, Barry Carlson, Tracy Goepel and Matt Kelsch
A special thank you to the following…
Wynstone Golf Club Sponsor
Dan and JoAnn Murphy
Dan, JoAnn, Dan ’04 and Jim ’08 Murphy
Complete Cleaning Company, Inc.
Weber-Stephen Product- Tom Koos
Arlington Heights Ford
The Bricton Group Eagle Ridge & Spa, Marriot Lincolnshire
ECI Executive Construction, Inc.
Dennis & Vanessa Kerrigan
Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
Rainbow Hospice & Palliative Care
Dr. Scott G. Smoron ’90 Orthodontist
Caroline Starr/C. Starr Properties
Jim Vandenbergh ’67, John Vandenbergh ’70, Mark Vandenbergh ’97, Erik Vandenbergh ’99
2016 Committee Members
Sean Connolly ’92
Jim Frugo ’87
Bill and Geri Senchuk
Jim ’67 and Sue Vandenbergh
Thank you to the following individuals for their generosity and support
Jim Bristol ’73
Our fabulous event volunteers