Bellarmine College Preparatory held its 41st Annual President’s Award Dinner the evening of October 29 at the Samuel A. Liccardo Campus Center. The donor recognition event, attended by 250 guests, culminated with the presentation of the President’s Award, given each year to those who have demonstrated support to Bellarmine in a variety of ways.
This year’s honoree, Frank Fanger, received the award from Chris Meyercord, president of Bellarmine, in recognition of Fanger’s 25 years of volunteer service on Bellarmine’s immersion trips to Tijuana and Tecate, Mexico, during which houses are constructed by students and adult leaders. “Not only has Frank led the trip every year since 1994, but he also devotes tremendous energy to add special touches, for example, making beautiful hand-crafted crosses for all the family members with whom we work,” said Meyercord.
With this background in mind, Bellarmine student Roberto Davila, a junior, designed and constructed this year’s unique award in the shape of a cross, using a combination of wood and stone materials. The award was designed and crafted in Bellarmine’s Maker Lab under the supervision of faculty moderator David Dutton. Another Bellarmine student, senior Marcus Ponce, shared a reflection about his two Tijuana Immersion experiences and thanked benefactors for their support of the school.
During his acceptance remarks, Fanger, a carpenter by trade who retired in 2013 after working for Trim Tech, Inc. for 26 years, thanked the many people who have journeyed with him on immersion missions over the years, and read excerpts from the book, Lives Built on Hope: Spiritual Insights from an Unlikely Missionary, written by his friend Howard Major, who introduced him to Bellarmine’s Tijuana Immersion opportunity in the early 1990s.
While a parent at Bellarmine, in addition to his immersion volunteer work, Fanger was a member of the Dads’ Club Board, an entity through which many current Bellarmine fathers participate on the Tijuana Immersion trip. Fanger and his wife, Kathy, have a son, Brian, a graduate of Bellarmine and Santa Clara University; and a daughter-in-law, Yamili, whose family’s house in Mexico they helped build during a mission coordinated by another organization for which they also volunteer.
Bellarmine’s Immersion Program, which provides students opportunities for solidarity and service, encompasses 19 trips domestically, nationally, and globally.