At the President’s Dinner at Saint Francis High School, an annual event in which the school thanks its champions for their continuous support of the school, President Simon Chiu paid tribute to three couples.
Steve and Helen Benedetti were presented with the Saint Andre Bessette Service Award, which honors members of the school community who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to the school’s Catholic, Holy Cross mission by volunteering their time and sharing their talents with Saint Francis. In addition, Steve and Donna Andrighetto and Socrates “Pete” and Patricia Manoukian received the Holy Cross Heritage Award, which recognizes distinguished benefactors who are passionate about the mission of the school and are involved leaders in the community.
Steve and Helen Benedetti
Mr. and Mrs. Benedetti love Saint Francis and have a desire to see school programs and events be as successful as possible; they have always done whatever was needed.
Mrs. Benedetti is a volunteer extraordinaire, from co-chairing the Lancer Auction to leading the Family Service Days and Parent Education Nights, serving as Women’s Club President and baking desserts for school events.
Likewise, Mr. Benedetti is just as committed. For the past three years, he has filmed the boys basketball games and maintained a spreadsheet that details each player’s statistics. Mr. Benedetti has been a model parent in his support of his children and the school’s athletic programs.
Steve and Donna Andrighetto
With the support of a tight-knit community of friends and family, Mr. and Mrs. Andrighetto know that they can count on others to be there for life’s joys and sorrows.
Their middle child, Anthony, was the first of their children to attend Saint Francis, and he was a terrific athlete. When he graduated from Saint Francis in 2009, he went on to the University of Arizona, where he discovered that he enjoyed coaching. On his way back from coaching youth basketball one day in the fall of 2012, his junior year, Anthony died in a car accident.
To honor his memory and to create a permanent legacy, his family established an endowed scholarship in his name. For the past two years, they have held a golf tournament to raise money for the scholarship and as true advocates of Catholic education, the Andrighettos have already impacted the lives of two students this year.
Socrates and Patricia Manoukian
Mr. and Mrs. Manoukian are both impressive professionals – he as a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge and she as a state appellate court justice. But what makes them special is just how much they love and are committed to Saint Francis.
Mr. Manoukian volunteers with the football team and reaches out to many outreach students. Mrs. Manoukian served on the Saint Francis Board of Directors for six years and worked to make sure that students have all the tools they need to be successful.
Their world was torn apart in 2012 when they received news that their beloved oldest child, Matthew, was killed in the line of duty. Matt was a 2001 graduate of Saint Francis and always dreamed of joining the Marines. After graduating from the University of Arizona, he attended officer candidate school and then infantry school. He voluntarily served four tours of duty and made it his personal mission to help bring a fair legal system to Afghanistan. Working side-by-side in the trenches with the Afghan locals, Matt was making a real difference in the world right up to the last moment of his life.
To honor their son, the family established a memorial scholarship in Matthew’s name. Today, Saint Francis hosts the annual Captain Matthew Patrick Manoukian Crab Feed, an evening in which hundreds of family, friends, and alumni come together to celebrate Matthew’s life. Proceeds from this event benefit the scholarship.